And once again, the answer of course, is an unequivocal yes.
The Red Sox let one get away at Fenway on Thursday night, against a patchwork Minnesota Twins team, started by Boof Bonser. (How does a playoff-bound team lose to some guy named Boof?)
This could have been the night the Sox won the division, but the Devil Rays couldn't beat the Yankees, who put out a lot of their bench guys after wrapping up a playoff berth on Wednesday. With Scott Kazmir going for TB, I thought it was a real possibility.
Josh Beckett had an off-night, as there were runners on base all night, and he gave up home runs to Michael Cuddyer and Garrett Jones (who??). He also made an ill-advised cutoff of Dustin Pedroia's throw that might have thrown a runner out at home. Not one of his better nights, but he should still be the AL Cy Young Award Winner, without a doubt.
But the Red Sox were up to their old tricks again, leaving runners everywhere, including the bases loaded in the first and ninth innings, and two in scoring position in the eighth. And for the umpteenth time this year, opportunities wasted comes back to haunt this team.
Hideki Okajima returned and pitched a solid eighth, allowing just a single, and David Ortiz had four hits, including a long home run. But isn't wasn't enough. The Magic Number remains at two. The Sox simply have to win two of three to win the division. If they can't at least split this series with this Twins team playing out the schedule, I see a first-round exit as a definite possibility.
Let's get this over with and get ready for the playoffs. Put Minnesota away.
They can't do anything the easy way. Being a Red Sox fan means sweating, no matter what the temperature is outside.