Notes: More at stake this time for Gonzalez


Notes: More at stake this time for Gonzalez

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHOENIX -- Most years, when Adrian Gonzalez made the All-Star team as a member of the San Diego Padres, the notion that the league winning the All-Star Game would earn home field advantage in the World Series was mostly moot.

The Padres, until 2010 anyway, were never really in contention and the idea of home field advantage in the World Series was pretty abstract.

Now, representing the Red Sox -- who carried the second-best record in the game into the break - Gonzalez feels there's more at stake.

"You definitely feel you're more invested in it if (your team) is in the race, said Gonzalez. "The importance of winning is definitely greater. You just know that if you win, at the end of the day, you've got a chance. It's not how you play the game, it's how you feel afterward.

"Someone in this locker room is going to be playing in the World Series, said Jacoby Ellsbury. "We want to have that advantage on our side, definitely.

Joe Torre, who's in charge of disciplinary rulings for Major League Baseball, said Tuesday that he will announce any further disciplinary measures stemming from the incident between the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz charged the mound after he objected to reliever Kevin Gregg pitching him inside on a number of occasions. Ortiz swung and missed at Gregg as benches cleared.

It's expected that both Gregg and Ortiz -- both of whom were ejected -- will be hit with suspensions.

"It's a tough situation, said Ortiz. "Like I said before, I'm not good at facing situations like that. We'll see. I know there's going to be discipline going on with myself, but like I say, things got out of hand and I don't feel like I was the one who started it.

Ortiz said he hadn't spoken to anyone with MLB about the incident.

"They go through all the video,'' he said. "There's not too much that you have to say. It was a situation that got out of hand and we'll see how it goes.

Ortiz was unsure whether he would automatically appeal any punishment.

"It all depends, he said. "We'll see. You can't do anything until you see what's on the table.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Red Sox-Indians ALDS matchup becoming increasingly likely

Red Sox-Indians ALDS matchup becoming increasingly likely

BOSTON - The Red Sox knew they'd be in the playoffs last weekend when they clinched a postseason berth for the first time since 2013.

On Wednesday, they became division champs and knew they'd avoided the dreaded wild-card game.

ANALYSIS: Nick Friar looks at potential Red Sox-Indians matchup

They still don't know their first-round opponent, though it's becoming increasingly likely that it will be the Cleveland Indians.

Here's why: the Red Sox' loss to the Yankees on Thursday night leaves them with a 92-67 record with three games remaining, the second-best mark -- for now -- among the three A.L. division winners.

The Texas Rangers, at 94-65, retain the best record, with the Indians, at 91-67, a half-game behind the Sox.

The team with the best record of the three will enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, and will be matched against the winner of Tuesday's A.L. wild-card matchup.

To finish with the A.L.'s best record and host the wild-card winner, the Red Sox essentially need to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays on the final weekend and hope that the Rangers get swept by Tampa Bay.

That's because a tie between the Red Sox and Rangers in the standings would make the Rangers the top seed by virtue of the second tie-breaker: intra-division play.

(The first tie-breaker is head-to-head play; the Sox and Rangers split the season series, sending them to the second tie-breaker).

In other words, the Rangers have a magic number of one to clinch the best record in the A.L. and gain home-field advantage throughout the postseason. One more Red Sox loss or one more Rangers win would get the Rangers locked into the top spot.

Again, barring a sweep by the Sox and the Rangers getting swept, a matchup in the Division Series with Cleveland seems almost inevitable.

What's not known is where that series will begin, and here's where it gets tricky.

Because the Indians and Detroit Tigers were rained out Thursday, the Tribe will have played only 161 games by the time the regular season ends early Sunday evening.

That could force the Indians and Tigers to play a makeup game on Monday, since the game could have playoff seeding implications for the Indians and Tigers. Detroit is still in the running for the A.L. wild card spot, currently a game-and-a-half behind the Orioles and Jays.

Since the Red Sox won the season series against the Indians 4-2, the Sox can clinch home field by winning two-of-three games from Toronto this weekend.

Should the Sox win two from the Jays, it would wipe out the need for Monday's makeup -- at least as far as the Indians are concerned. It's possible that it would still need to be played to determine the one of the wild card spots.

No matter who wins home field in a likely Red Sox-Indians matchup, the Division Series between the two will start with games next Thursday and Friday. After a travel day, the series would resume Sunday and Monday, Oct. 9-10.

Should the Sox win home field and host the first two games, Game 3 would be played Sunday Oct. 9 in Cleveland -- on the same day and in the same city where Tom Brady will make his return to the Patriots.