The Boston Red Sox may have lost Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees, but they walked away with a bigger win: the American League East title.
Wednesday's game featured a three-run lead to the Red Sox going into the ninth inning. However, a last-minute rally, including a ninth-inning grand slam from the Yankee's Mark Teixeira, brought the Yankees back for the win. But this did not matter for the Red Sox, who had clinched the title when the Toronto Blue Jays lost at home to the Baltimore Orioles and handed the division title to Boston.
This is only the second time that the Red Sox have taken the title during a game outside of their home at Fenway park. The first time was in 1988 in Cleveland.
Boston's last division title was in 2013. The team took that victory and manifested it, and made 2013 the same year the team won the World Series.
Despite the standout season in 2013, the team found themselves at the bottom of the division in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
The Wednesday night loss against the Yankees was an outlier. The Red Sox have rallied in the late part of the season. The team entered into August in third place in the league. As they reached August, they lost a series of 7 out of 10 games. However, from September onwards, the team marched forward in pursuit of a title and a chance to take on the playoffs.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "In the end, the one inning, it doesn't take away from the 158 games played to date. They should be extremely proud for winning a very, very difficult division."
Farrell stepped up to the plate as manager in 2013, but he missed the team's World Series while he was battling stage 1 lymphoma. This is his second title season with the Red Sox.
The Red Sox walked away with a win for 11 straight games in September before losing against the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The team stands at 19-7 for the month of September.
September's winning streak also boosted their wins to 63 percent of games played. No other team in the American League has topped 60 percent. Only the Chicago Cubs compare in regards to the number of projected wins.
The final regular season game for the Red Sox takes place at home in Boston on Sunday, Oct. 1 when the team takes on the Blue Jays. Postseason games begin on Oct. 6. The American League Championship starts on Friday, Oct. 14.
If they pull through the playoffs, the Red Sox become a contender for the World Series title. Baseball's biggest series begins on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Spectators suggest that the Red Sox will use their momentum to blow through the playoffs and arrive at the World Series. If they do, they may encounter the Chicago Cubs, who are also at the top of their division.
The two teams are some of the oldest professional teams in the game. Both feature prominent stadiums, setting a memorable backdrop for the World Series.
Should the Chicago Cubs make it through, it would be the team's first World Series title in more than a century.
However, there are other contenders for the line-up. The Los Angeles Dodgers have also made it to the post-season despite injuries and demotions. The team grabbed its fourth consecutive National League West title this year and won 90 games so far.
The post-season may be on the doorstep and the competitors may be threatening, but the game is not yet over.
[Feature Image By Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]