Gentlemen, change your narratives: the Red Sox collapse/Rays surge story is kinda stale, what with the Rays’ surge being arrested of late. Now you gotta figure in the Angels who are tied with Tampa Bay, a mere two and a half back of Boston.
On September 2nd, Boston was nine games ahead of Tampa Bay and 9½ in front of the Angels in the wild-card standings. Since then the Angels have gone 12-7. Normally that’s not enough to catapult oneself into a race, but the Red Sox have cooperated nicely with that 5-15 of theirs. When you open the door someone is going to walk in.
Which also means that there isn’t one single thing anyone can point to with the Angels and say “HERE’s why they’re back in it!” There are a lot of things happening. Peter Bourjos has had a really nice second half at the plate, most specifically in the power department. Nine homers, four triples and 11 doubles since the break. Overall, a subpar offense on the season has turned into a pretty decent and occasionally downright swell offense in September. With their rotation, that’s more than enough to take advantage of what the Sox have given them.
I don’t know if they’ll make it. They have two series left: against an Oakland team that has given them a fair bit of trouble this season and against the Rangers who are playing even better than the Angels are right now. But they have a puncher’s chance. And, given the 1-2-3 of Weaver, Haren and Santana, if they do make it, they’re going to be able to give the Yankees fits in the first round.