Things are getting quite a bit more interesting in the American League East. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said tonight prior to his team's game in Seattle that Alex Rodriguez likely won't play until Friday night's series opener in Toronto because his lingering thumb issues.
A major subplot for the Yankees this week will be the work of closer Mariano Rivera, who has 599 career saves. He's going to become the second man to 600 and is on the edge of breaking Trevor Hoffman's all-time record of 601. That would be something for Yankees fans to see this weekend in the Rogers Centre.
The Red Sox, meanwhile are taking the night off after a 1-6 road trip included getting swept at Tampa Bay. The Sox are suddenly just 3 1/2 games up on the Rays in the wild card race (pending Tampa's game Monday at Baltimore) -- and have four more this week with Tampa, starting Thursday in Fenway Park. No less an authority than David Ortiz said it is, in fact, time to panic. Given the way Tampa's pitching looks and the way Boston's looks, he's right.
First up for the Sox, however, are two games against Toronto. Tuesday's contest will mark beleaguered knuckleballer Tim Wakefield's eighth chance at his 200th win. We all properly crabbed at the start of September about having no races to watch and we were right at the time. Looks like we might get a doozy after all.
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