Your updated playoff brackets:
AL: Boston (1) vs. Detroit (3), Texas (2) vs. Yankees (4).
NL: Philadelphia (1) vs. San Francisco (3), Milwaukee (2) vs. Atlanta (4).
Thoughts: The Yankees and Red Sox are tied atop the AL East, but in our theoretical "If the season ended today" exercise, you'd give the edge to the Red Sox because of their 9-2 edge in head-to-head play. Boston needs just one more victory in the seven remaining rivalry games to clinch this advantage, which would come into play if the two clubs finish the season tied.
What else was I going to write about? Luis Ayala's solid relief outing?
As I wrote in the column, I think you go with Occam's Razor here. The reason Sabathia has struggled so much against the Red Sox is because the Red Sox have the best offense in baseball. It's as simple as that.
--Jacoby Ellsbury had a monster day for the Red Sox, and is enjoying a monster season. He has to be in the AL MVP conversation, along with his teammate Dustin Pedroia, the Yankees' Curtis Granderson, pitchers Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver and Toronto's Jose Bautista.
--John Lackey won the game for the Red Sox, and I guess he looked good if you're comparing him to how awful he has looked at points this year. He didn't give up any extra-base hits to the Yankees in six innings, but he did allow six singles, he walked two and he hit two. The Red Sox still can't feel too great about him.
--Can Freddy Garcia perform any better against the Red Sox tonight than either he has in his previous starts or Sabathia or Bartolo Colon has this series? It won't be easy, given his arsenal. If he gets a quick hook, then Phil Hughes would be the natural guy to come in and try to give the Yankees some innings.
--Alex Rodriguez took batting practice in Tampa.
--The Mets defeated the Braves, and Wilpon savior David Einhorn visited Citi Field and hung out with Fred Wilpon, Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins. David Lennon reports that the idea of bringing in the rightfield fence and lowering the leftfield wall is "gaining momentum."
It makes sense. It's one thing to have a pitchers' park, but you don't want your hitters thoroughly frustrated with their home. Einhorn, meanwhile, appears on track to finally close out the deal in which he'd purchase a minority share and have a chance to take over majority control in five years.
--For my Sunday Insider, I wrote about the Diamondbacks, A-Rod, Albert Belle and Heath Bell.
--Have a great day