The final scores don't matter much now, and haven't, really, for some time. Since early September, it's been obvious that the Red Sox' postseason status moved from "decided longshot'' to "eliminated in all but name.''
As the Red Sox head out for their final road trip of the season, their tragic number is one -- that is, one more loss, or one more win by the Tampa Bay Rays will officially seal their fate. As fate would have it, the first stop on the Red Sox' final trek is Tropicana Field. Their season will almost certainly end sometime in the next four days, perhaps as soon as Friday night.
So, with no chance to properly defend their title in October, the focus has shifted inside the clubhouse. Those with injuries are either being shut down for good (David Price, Michael Chavis) or having their potential return to the lineup managed with the utmost of caution (MookieBetts, HeathHembree, J.D. Martinez).
For those healthy enough to still play -- because someone has to -- it's about individual achievements. The race to lead the team in doubles and RBI is being waged between the two occupants of the left side of the infield, RafaelDevers and Xander Bogaerts.
But the goal in which seemingly everyone is invested in trying to get EduardoRodriguez a 20-win season.