Or, rather, here come the contenders in the American League. The Sox tonight begin a stretch of 24 games in 24 days, and 20 of them are against play-off contenders
. We'll know where the Sox stand at the end of this stretch. Sixteen wins should put them in front of the wild card chase, but I'm not basing that on anything more than my gut reaction. I just hope they don't get too caught up in how tough a stretch this is. The team excelled in May and June when they went 18-11 when playing 29 straight against opponents who were above .500 at the time. The next two nights, with the back end of the rotation due up, could be crucial for setting the tone.