Boston Red Sox

Oct 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Red Sox players celebrate clinching a Wild Card berth after the final out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Know that old saying, it’s better to be lucky than good?

Over the weekend, the Red Sox were both.

Par exemple: after looking downright catatonic in their dreadful series against the Baltimore Orioles last week, the Red Sox trailed the Yankees by two games in the American League wildcard race with three games to play. The Yankees subsequently dropped the first two games of a weekend series against a Tampa Bay Rays team with nothing to play for, allowing the Sox to move back atop the wildcard race entering yesterday, giving the Red Sox the chance to host the wildcard game this week thanks to tiebreakers.

True to form, the Sox looked like they were about to throw up on their shoes, trailing the downtrodden Washington Nationals by a 5-1 score entering what looked like the final four innings of their season.

And then they did what they did so frequently in their earlier, more inspiring days of this 2021 season:

They came back.

Oct 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11), Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2), Red Sox left fielder Kyle Schwarber (18), and Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez (5) celebrate clinching a Wild Card berth after the final out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“I just kept looking up like, ‘It’s only the fourth inning, it’s only the fifth inning,” observed Sox manager Alex Cora. “It was like `Wow, we still have plenty of time to come back.’ ”

Interesting perspective.

Because it certainly felt like the Sox were running out of time.

The eventual hero, of course, was Rafael Devers, who went 4-for-5 yesterday and 5-for-10 with three home runs on the final two days of the regular season. Devers absolutely pummeled a game-winning, two-run home run in the top of the ninth to complete the comeback and propel the Sox to a 7-5 win – and the right to host tomorrow night’s American League wildcard playoff game against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

So, should we celebrate these Sox? Not so fast. The Sox are 0-6 against the Yankees since the trading deadline and, as Alex Speier of the Boston Globe noted, the Yankees hardly ran from this scenario when MLB made plays for an array of tiebreaking scenarios:

The point? Based on the way the Red Sox season has gone over the last few weeks and months, they are just as likely to fall on their faces tomorrow night as they are to reach the division series against the Tampa Bay Rays later this week. Cora will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in a rematch of the Sept. 24 meeting at Fenway, a game the Yankees won by an 8-3 score.

So what happens tomorrow?

Your guess is as good as anyone’s – including Cora’s.

But for the moment, at least, consider it all a win.

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.