Sox, Yanks ... and questions

From the Red Sox's big victory to the Yankees' incredible defeat, Tuesday's action was filled with intrigue.

Originally Published: August 31, 2004
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Senior writer Rob Neyer filed continuous updates throughout the evening on Tuesday as he took in the action across the majors.

8:45 p.m. ET: As I write this, the Red Sox are well on their way to drubbing the Angels and the Yankees are well on their way to getting embarrassed by the Indians. If these results hold -- and at the moment the score is 16-0, winners over losers -- the Red Sox will trail the Yankees by only three and a half games. Is it possible? Could the Yankees really blow a huge mid-season lead for the first time in their storied history?

Sure, it could happen. Maybe it's time for Yankees fans to acknowledge the distinct possibility that the Red Sox are, you know, better than the Yankees. Including tonight's 16-0 differential (so far), the Red Sox have outscored their opponents by 144 runs -- tops in the American League, by quite a bit -- while the Yankees have outscored their opponents by 71 runs. It's been like this for most of the season, and eventually the run differential tends to show up in the standings. The Yankees are still the favorites of course, because it's not easy to make up even three and a half games in one month. Still, it would be a big story if the Red Sox beat out the Yankees for a division title. Too bad their pennant has little practical impact. Thank you, Wild Card.