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"Disappointed" Red Sox officially eliminated from postseason contention

BOSTON  -- It felt inevitable for a while, but the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday night.

The Sox were eliminated after losing to the Yankees, 2-0, in a rain-shortened affair in the Bronx. That outcome gave the Yankees a series-sweep, and a 13-6 record over Boston overall this season.

If you're looking for any ray of sunshine from the weekend, at least the Red Sox didn't give up a record-tying homer to Aaron Judge during the series.   

Sunday's loss dropped the Red Sox to 72-80, and they seem destined to finish in last place in the AL East, sitting seven games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Boston is just 20-46 against division opponents this season.

What a drastic fall from grace for a team that was just two wins shy of a trip to the World Series last season.

"Disappointed," Boston manager Alex Cora said after Sunday's loss. "We felt like we had a good team coming into the season and we just didn't perform. We were very inconsistent in a lot of aspects of the game, and we've just got to get better."

Aside from a 20-6 month of June, the Red Sox weren't able to play good baseball consistently this year. The offense has been the biggest disappointment, with Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts the only players carrying their weight in the lineup. J.D. Martinez has just 12 homers on the year, and Alex Verdugo is the only outfielder on the team to reach 10 homers for the season. Boston's pitching has been up and down for most of the campaign, thanks in large part to injuries to Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi. The team's closer-by-committee approach also went about as well as expected, with the Boston bullpen blowing 28 saves throughout the season.

The Red Sox now have 10 games left in the season: four at Fenway Park against the Orioles, three on the road in Toronto, and a three-game home series against the Rays to close things out. There are a number of ploys to get fans into Fenway Park over the next week, including meet and greets with players and "golden tickets" hidden under seats where fans can win some fancy prizes.

That's all fans have to look forward to over these next 10 days, aside from some young guys like Triston Casas and Brayan Bello looking to gain a little more experience before the focus shifts to 2023. But Cora is promising anyone who is still watching that the Red Sox are not just playing out their schedule.

"We've just got to go out there and play," Cora said of the close of the season. "I think we've done a good job competing. But we haven't won too many games. If you see the games -- not the record -- nobody has quit here. 

"We've just got to keep playing. A lot of people are playing for a lot of stuff in that clubhouse. We'll continue to prepare and be ready to play every single day," the manager added.

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