The AL East every year is one of the best divisions in baseball as it has two of the most storied teams, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This season is no exception as the Red Sox lead by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, two over the Toronto Blue Jays and four over the Yankees with 17 games remaining.
The wild card is even tighter as three and a half games separates the Tigers, Mariners, Yankees and Astros from the Orioles and Blue Jays. As a Yankees fan, I was distraught to say the least after they traded Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran. Since these four trades, the Yankees have played inspired baseball and remarkably have stayed alive in the race. This is why going to the Baltimore Orioles v. Boston Red Sox game at Fenway yesterday was so tough.
Going into the game, I should have been rooting for the Boston Red Sox because if they pulled away with the division, they would be beating the Orioles and Blue Jays thus helping the Yankees. As a diehard Yankees fan, I just could not do it and I found myself begrudgingly rooting for the Orioles instead.
Sitting in center field in Fenway is an amazing experience as this was my fourth time at Fenway but only second time seeing a game. The Orioles won 1-0 behind an unbelievable pitching performance by Kevin Gausman who tossed 120 pitches and eight innings of four hit ball. Their closer, Zach Britton, converted his 43rd save and moved his earned run average down to an astonishing 0.62. Being surrounded by all the Red Sox fans and sitting in enemy territory is a fun experience as the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry is the best in all of sports.
Although there were not many hits and only one run, the game was a pitching duel which was riveting from the first pitch until the last. The weather was beautiful, Sweet Caroline came on in the seventh and we got others to join in on a UConn chant late in the eighth.
With 17 days to go, the American League East is only heating up as the Yankees have seven games against the Red Sox, three against the Rays, four against the Blue Jays and three against the Orioles, as each AL East team will have a chance to play each other multiple times. The Ringer had an exceptional article the other day about how this is one of the closest division races in modern history, as this race has certainly gotten people excited in baseball.
Over the summer, baseball is supposed to be the dominating sport as the NFL is off and the NBA finishes in June, but since Comcast dropped the YES network I have been unable to watch the Yankees. Coming back to UConn where they have the YES network, I have gotten back into baseball and have fallen in love with America’s pastime. Although the NFL is back on and fantasy football dominates a small section of my life, the MLB dominates October as this is where baseball gets truly fun.
There is nothing like going to a baseball game, from the players, the atmosphere and the fanfare as it is unlike any other sporting event. With September in full swing and October right around the corner, I am excited to be back watching baseball, watching four teams compete in the best division in baseball and watching the new Baby Bombers make it back to the playoffs in pursuit for championship No. 28.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.