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This is all courtesy of Peter Abraham, who is in his next to last day at his blog. I have amended his original post to include statistics from yesterday’s game, in which the Yankees clinched the AL East title.

The Yankees and Red Sox have played 178 regular-season games this decade. The Yankees lead the series 95-83 and have outscored their rivals by a grand total of five runs, 904-899.

The teams have split 14 postseason games with the Yankees holding a 75-70 edge in runs.

It’s pretty amazing to think that these two teams have played 192 times since the start of the 2000 season and the difference is ten runs.

To put it another way, the average score is Yankees 5.10, Red Sox 5.06.

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After two straight wins over the Red Sox, the Yankees are now 1 win away from clinching the AL East Division title for the first time since 2006.  They’ll fight for that and the chance to be the first (and possibly only) team in the majors to hit 100 wins this season, Sunday afternoon against the Sox in the Bronx.

I’m very excited to see the Yankees playing this well so late in the season.  Andy Pettitte takes the mound as the Bombers will try to clinch.  If they complete the sweep and clinch the division, don’t be surprised to see champagne sprayed in the clubhouse after the game.

In the first half of the 18-game season series, Boston dominated winning the first 8 games.  However, in the second half the Yankee domination of the Red Sox continues.  Since that 8th win by the Sox, the Bombers have won 8 of 9.  Both teams are clearly the hottest teams in baseball right now, but the Yankees have done everything they needed to pull away with wins.

On Friday, the Yankees topped the Sox 9-5, riding on the back of Alex Rodriguez who went 3-3 with a HR and 4 RBI.  Joba pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on two home runs and scattering the other three hits in the game.  Joba showed big improvement in his control and pitches and made the case that he should still be considered for the fourth pitcher for the postseason.

The Yankees Celebrate Their 3-0 Win over the Red Sox (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The Yankees Celebrate Their 3-0 Win over the Red Sox (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

On Saturday, CC Sabathia earned his major league-leading 19th win by holding the Red Sox to 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 8 through 7 innings.  He was utterly dominating and never allowed a Red Sox player to get into scoring position.  Sabathia improved his case for the AL Cy Young Award, given to the best pitcher in the American League.  He now has an MLB-best 19 wins and is fourth in the AL with a 3.21 ERA.

The Yankees won Saturday’s game 3-0, off a solo home run by Robinson Cano off of Daisuke Matsuzaka in the sixth inning.  Johnny Damon knocked in two more runs in the eighth off of Billy Wagner.  Surprisingly, Alex Rodriguez was 0-3 with runners in scoring position the afternoon after he went 3-3 with 4 RBI.

The Yankees look to sweep the series Sunday afternoon at 1pm on ESPN.  The game was originally scheduled for 8pm Sunday night, but the game was rescheduled for 1pm to take the team’s Jewish fans into consideration as the Yom Kippur holiday begins Sunday at sundown.

Bombers utility man Jerry Hairiston, Jr was given a cortisone shot for tendinitis in his left wrist and is listed day-to-day with the injury.  Hairiston left Wesneday night’s game against the Angels in the middle of his at-bat, sending some fans into a state of worry.

Hairiston said after the game that the wrist has been sore since July when he was with Cincinnati.

Although not an everyday player, Hairiston has been exactly the type of bench player that a chaampionship team needs – a aguy who plays his heart out, runs fast and is ready when called upon.

I can see the Yankees letting him take it easy this week since a playoff spot is already guaranteed and they will want him rested up and comfortable.

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It’s a huge weekend for New York sports and a huge weekend for Boston sports.  Not only do we get the excitement and thrill of the final Red Sox-Yankees series at Yankee Stadium this weekend, but New Yorkers get the thrill of a 2-0 Jets team going against the 0-2 Titans (who were 13-3 last season) and New Englanders get the 2-0 Falcons visiting the 1-1 Patriots.

The Jets are the thrill of NYC right now – everyone expected the Giants to be 2-0, but the Jets were expected to be 0-2 at this point – in fact, many expected them to start the season 1-4 or 0-5. The Pats were supposed to be 2-0, but after a bad loss to the Jets and a just-barely-won game against Buffalo, many are questioning their skill beyond that of Tom Brady.  Football will be big this weekend.

But, I digress.  Let’s get back to baseball.

I’m going to call this the biggest weekend in baseball in 2009.  However, that’s not saying much.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, the AL playoff race is BORING.  It’s pretty obvious who is making the playoffs. – Yankees have already clinched – Boston is 8 games over Texas for the Wild Card, and the LA Angels are 7 games over Texas for the Al West crown.  The only “race” still up for grabs is the AL Central – where Detroit and Minnesota will battle for the right to lose to the Yankees or (God forbid) Boston in the Divisional Playoff Series.

So this weekend’s excitement purely comes from the Boston @ New York Yankees series in the Bronx.  Both teams are very similar.  Boston is 7-3 in their last 10 games; the Yankees are 6-4.  Both teams also seem to have 3 quality starters ready to go for the playoffs – Lester, Beckett and Matsuzaka for the Sox and Sabatha, Burnett and Pettitte for the Yanks.

The two teams have an interesting history this season – after losing the first 8 games of the season to the Red Sox, the Bombers are 6-1 and have found a way to dominate as of late.  But if the history between this rivalry tells us anything – it’s that nothing matters except how the teams play that day.  After all, it’s a very colorful history between these two teams.

I am tempted to simply give Boston the win tonight.  Joba Chamberlain pitches against Jon Lester.  Although my man-love for Joba has waned just a tad, I still love him – but let’s face reality.  He sucks right now and Lester doesn’t.  To win the Yankees need him to pitch 5 solid innings – like 2 runs or less.  Anything less than that, and Girardi should consider giving up on him for the season.  The Yankees need someone dominating in the postseason, not a question mark.

Plus, the Yankees have never, I repeat, never beaten Lester.  Dating back to last season, Lester is 3-0 in six starts and has held A-Rod to a .154 average (2-13) against him.  That’s domination and that’s why the Red Sox are the favorite to win tonight.

I do like the other two games’ matchups – CC Sabathia against Matsuzaka and Andy Pettitte against Byrd.  Matsuzaka is pitching well since returning from injury, but Sabathia is an ace and he knows that the CY Young award is on the line.  He needs to prove he deserves it more then Zach Greinke of Kansas City.  And Pettitte always pitches well when it’s important.

At the plate, Victor Martinez brings a 23-game hitting streak to the Bronx and has hit well against the Yankees since being traded to Boston.

Despite the hype and excitement, unless the Red Sox sweep the Yankees this weekend, they have little chance to pass them and win the division crown.  With a 5.5 game lead and easier final week scheduling, the Yankees have the edge.

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