The Most Frustrating Season Since...?

2000 maybe? 1998? It's been a while since a Red Sox team put-up such impressive numbers and yet is in danger of not making the playoffs.

After being swept by the Texas Rangers in Arlington, in a series reminiscent of the season-crushing defeats in Arlington in 2001, I thought the season was over. I wanted to declare the 2009 Red Sox dead. But I am hesitant. Why?

The Red Sox have two injured starting pitchers - Wakefield and Matsuzaka. That has to be taken into account.

Furthermore, the apparent lack of passion and anger from these Red Sox is not a sign that the team lacks heart. I still see Ortiz dishing out customized high-fives and smiling. I still see Jason Bay focus at each at bat. And while the Red Sox haven't had an epic brawl, comeback, or dramatic walk-off this season (at least I don't recall a walk-off home run this season), they have remained cool and professional, much like their arch rivals in New York. There have been no off-field distractions. Even the news that David Ortiz was on the juice didn't rock the clubhouse. There hasn't been anything similar to Jurassic Carl circa 2001. Besides being swept in two recent series, there haven't been any other major bad news.

So the Red Sox still have a good chance to secure the Wild Card. And they can do it by being as close to perfect at home as possible. And that task re-boots tonight as the penultimate series against the Yankees begins.

It's on. Their fate is still in their hands.