No - but they could sure prove a point with a sweep.
Come on, let's get serious here. In mid-August, 2004, the baseball world pronounced the Red Sox out of it. When I was growing up in New York, the Giants, who had recently been 13 games behind Brooklyn, were also "dead in the water" on Labor Day, 1951. And let's not forget last fall when the Red Sox and Braves both had the playoffs "locked up." Sheesh.
No. But they can sure make things a lot easier on themselves, give themselves some room for error and put to rest the Strasburg issue. You "lock" it up when the other teams are mathematically elminated. The Cardinals had a 1% Chance of making the playoffs last year--and, we know, they did. OK, so maybe that's extreme. But I'd wait until about 95% before I'd start talking "lock."
I think I know how Bryce would answer that.
Might his reply evoke this guy? Yeah, I thought so.
Then there were the 2005 Astros. How did that one end? Oh, right. They went to the Serious.
Point being, it ain't over 'til it's over. I heard that somewhere.