Archive for August 30th, 2011

For the final time at Fenway Park during the regular season, the Yankees and Red Sox renew hostilities in a three-game series that begins tonight. If the Bronx Bombers hope to finally get the better of their rival, winning game one will be paramount. In the opener, the pitching matchup of CC Sabathia vs. John Lackey favors the Yankees, but in the subsequent games, the Red Sox enjoy a decided advantage. With Boston’s pair of aces, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, facing New York’s struggling tandem, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett, the onus is on Sabathia to get the Yankees off on the right foot.

Can Sabathia wipe away his earlier season struggles against Boston (Photo: AP)?

Of course, the Red Sox might not look at game one as much of a mismatch. Despite compiling a 17-3 record with a 2.40 ERA against the rest of the league, Sabathia has been unable to beat Boston. In his four starts against the Red Sox, the Yankees’ ace lefty is 0-4 with an ERA of 7.20, so you can’t blame the Boston lineup if it enters tonight’s game with supreme confidence.

Considering how well he has pitched against every other team, it stands to reason that Sabathia will eventually turn in a strong outing against the Red Sox. At the very least, history should be on his side. Since 1919, only eight Yankees’ starters (in nine seasons) have lost five games against one team in a single season, and only three have done it without recording a victory. So, not only is Sabathia pitching to keep the Yankees alive in the divisional race, he is also trying to avoid making an ignominious mark on franchise history.

Yankees’ Starters with Five Losses Against One Team, Since 1919

Pitcher Year Opp GS IP W L ERA WHIP
Red Ruffing 1931 CLE 6 30.1 0 5 9.20 2.18
Bill Zuber 1945 DET 5 33.1 0 5 5.13 1.77
Bill Bevens 1947 CHW 5 27.2 0 5 4.88 1.70
Lefty Gomez 1935 DET 6 47 1 5 4.60 1.43
Sad Sam Jones 1925 MIN 7 51 2 5 4.41 1.55
Catfish Hunter 1976 BAL 6 43.1 1 5 4.15 1.08
Bob Turley 1955 CHW 6 35.1 1 5 4.08 1.78
Sad Sam Jones 1922 MIN 10 88.2 5 5 3.45 1.32
Tiny Bonham 1945 CLE 6 48.1 1 5 3.35 1.16

Source: Baseball-reference.com


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