There's No Way The Red Sox Didn't Win the AL East Last Night

(Aug. 17, 2017 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
Evan Marinofsky
Contributing Writer

Last night, the Red Sox provided us yet another back-and-forth thriller, winning 9-6 on a great Friday night at Fenway. And to make matters better? It was over the Yankees.

Undoubtedly, the rivalry is back. Both teams are young, talented, and prone to hate each other at some point. Hate aside, these games are nothing but exciting. That seventh inning may have seemed like an eternity last night but don't act like you didn't love every second of it.

These games between the Sox and Yanks have everything and that's what makes them so exciting. No lead is ever safe, no talent definite, and no outcome probable.

The Yankees now sit five games back of the local 9. They're by no means out of contention for taking back first place in the AL East. They could easily get hot just as easily as the Red Sox could hit the skids.

But something about last night's win for the Red Sox was just devastating for the Yankees. There was something that seemed almost crushing for the Yankees. Things like gaining the lead in the top of the seventh only to have it gone in the bottom half of the same inning and then having their $86 million closer implode for the second time this week to the same team typically are annoying. But for the Yanks, it seemed crushing last night. Unbearable.

On the flip side, the Red Sox had a very different outcome. With regard to their late inning bullpen, there were heroics instead of disappointment. Addison Reed became the set-up man last night after him and Craig Kimbrel combined to record the final eight outs (six by way of the K). The Red Sox may have lost their leads, but they continuously came back what seemed like time and time again.

(Aug. 17, 2017 - Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
Reed and Aroldis Chapman could be the symbols for each team. Both had rough outings the last time these two teams played, which was on Sunday. But last night, Reed rebounded while Chapman continued his downward spiral.

Also, the Sox won last night for the 13th time in 15 games while the Yankees are a mediocre 15-10 in their past 25.

Last night seemed like a symbol for how the division race will play out this year: back and forth, back and forth, but in the end, the Red Sox will persevere.

With this hot month of August, the Red Sox have their sights set on bigger and better things. They want to catch those struggling Houston Astros. In the AL Playoff Race, the Sox are only five behind the Astros. By catching them, which is very real at this point, the Red Sox would gain home field advantage for the American League side of the postseason. They would also have a shot at playing the Yankees in the ALDS. That would be the first postseason dance between the two rivals since those battles back in the fall of 2004.

In these last few weeks of the season, the Yankees will put up a serious fight for first place. But in the end, the Red Sox's hand will be the one raised.

And last night may have been just that for the Red Sox.

Follow Evan Marinofsky on Twitter (@emarinofsky) for all of his latest Red Sox thoughts.