New York Yankees (9-6) @ Boston Red Sox (9-6)
This is the first series between the AL East rivals. The Yankees are coming off a two-game sweep of the A’s while the Red Sox also swept the Orioles earlier this week and another sweep of the Twins. The Red Sox have won seven straight games to bring them up tied for second with the Yankees in the division.
Both teams still need to find themselves. The Yankees are having difficulty putting a winning streak together, while the Red Sox seem to be warming up, but their pitching is susceptible.
Both teams also have scored exactly 84 runs in 15 games, but Boston has been better defensively, because of the Yankees’ defensive woes against the Indians.
For Boston, the ageless Tim Wakefield leads the rotation with 2 wins and a 2.45 ERA. Kevin Youkilis is leading the Red Sox with a .429 BA, four home runs, and 14 runs. Mike Lowell has 16 RBIs. David Ortiz is in a major slump again and Boston bloggers are wondering if it’s time — the dreaded late-career swoon. He doesn’t seem to have recovered from his wrist injury last year.
As for the Yankees, Robinson Cano is leading the offense with .367 BA. Nick Swisher is leading in virtually all categories with four homers,12 ribbies, 13 runs, and a 1.148 OPS.
Friday: RHP Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 5.06) vs. LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 5.50), 7:10 p.m., YES
Saturday: RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (2-1, 3.79), 4:10 p.m., FOX
Sunday: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.53) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (1-0, 3.18), 8:05 p.m., ESPN
It’s very crucial for both teams to get off to a good start against their rival. The Yankees and Red Sox have been pretty even when it comes to how many wins they got against each other the past several seasons. The Yankees seem to do poorly in Fenway in the early part of the season but fare better in the summers (remember the Boston Massacre, 5-game series a couple of years ago?). I’ll be content if we win at least one game, two even better, three pretty.