If you could explain why the Red Sox can beat the Rangers with apparent ease, yet fall to the lowly Twins with regularity, you could probably win a Nobel Prize for psychology or a Field's Medal for mathematics. Or both.
Aaron Cook did a great job to limit the Rangers to 6 hits and a run in 7 innings. And the offense took advantage of Yu Darvish's frequently hanging pitches to put a few crooked numbers up on the board.
I don't think there's any magic or mystery to the Sox' inconsistency. Last night was a rare example of the offense, the starting pitching, and the bullpen all doing their job. That's happened maybe 10 times this season. No more. Most of the time one element of the team undermines the other. And the end result is a 50/50 chance in winning a game.
This team is one strong winning streak away from claiming a Wild Card spot. And one losing streak away from being out of the race.
It seems weird to me that in Boston the perceived value of a Wild Card has increased, while the actual value of it has significantly decreased.
A Wild Card used to get you the 4th seed in the playoffs. Now it grants you access to the one-and-done play-in game. And if you win that, then you're the 4th seed in the playoffs. So the value of a Wild Card has diminished significantly, but as a goal for Red Sox fans/owners, it has risen in prominence.