For much of the past week, the main story concerning tonight’s series opener against Boston was about who wasn’t pitching for the Yankees. Now, it’s time to focus on who is. Phil Hughes has been entrusted with kicking off the latest round in the rivalry. Of course, this time around, the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t playing for first place. That spot is occupied by the Rays. Still, as always, this series takes on special meaning above and beyond three games in May.
At 19-8, the Yankees enter the series with the upper hand, while the Red Sox look to jump back into the race by building on their four-game sweep of the hapless Angels. Over the past couple years, Boston has seemed to hold the dominant position in the series, particularly in the early part of the season, but the Yankees 27th championship has restored much of the natural order. It is definitely too early to suggest that Boston needs to win this series, but at least taking 2 of 3 could go along way toward making the AL East a three team race. On the other hand, if the Yankees come out ahead, both they and the Rays could really start to build some distance.
While the Yankees look to Hughes to continue his early season dominance, the Red Sox hope that Josh Beckett can build on his last start and turn around an early season down spell. Part of Beckett’s struggles has resulted from his inability to throw his curveball for strikes. Beckett has basically replaced his curveball by throwing more cutters and change ups, but those pitches are thrown at speeds not far off the fastball. Look for Beckett to try and establish his curve early in the game. If he is unsuccessful, it could be a good night for the Yankee batters.
The Yankee lineup will be a little short this evening as Jorge Posada takes another day off to rest his ailing calf. Randy Winn will also once again play LF against the right handed Beckett. For the Red Sox, Big Papi gets what for him has become an increasingly rare start, while Varitek handles the catching duties. Varitek has seemed to settle into the role of Beckett’s personal catcher, so that’s something to look at closely as the season progresses.
|vs. Josh Beckett||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Derek Jeter SS||57||0.315||0.339||0.444||2||5|
|Nick Johnson DH||16||0.273||0.500||0.455||0||2|
|Mark Teixeira 1B||28||0.130||0.286||0.130||0||1|
|Alex Rodriguez 3B||51||0.261||0.333||0.457||2||10|
|Robinson Cano 2B||51||0.362||0.412||0.681||3||10|
|Nick Swisher RF||27||0.273||0.407||0.409||1||2|
|Brett Gardner CF||12||0.167||0.167||0.167||0||1|
|Francisco Cervelli C||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Randy Winn LF||8||0.250||0.250||0.625||1||2|
|vs. Phil Hughes||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Marco Scutaro SS||9||0.250||0.333||0.250||0||0|
|Dustin Pedroia 2B||9||0.000||0.111||0.000||0||0|
|J.D. Drew RF||7||0.667||0.857||1.333||0||0|
|Kevin Youkilis 1B||8||0.286||0.250||0.714||1||4|
|David Ortiz DH||4||1.000||1.000||2.000||0||1|
|Adrian Beltre 3B||4||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Jeremy Hermida LF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Jason Varitek C||3||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Darnell McDonald CF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Yankees vs. Red Sox|
|Season: 2010||Season: 2009||Season: 2008||All-Time|
|NYY: 2-1||TIED: 9-9||TIED: 9-9||NYY: 1119-934|
- Alex Rodriguez next home run will tie Frank Robinson for seventh on the all-time list.
- Tonight’s game will be Derek Jeter’s 2,165th game in a Yankee uniform, passing Lou Gehrig for second place on the all-time franchise list.
- Before the game, Romulo Sanchez was promoted from Triple-A Scranton. Outfielder Greg Golson was sent back down to make room for him on the active roster.