Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’
CHICAGO — Greetings from U.S. Cellular Field, the first of a whopping 21 road games this month, and the first of a week that will finish at Fenway Park.
Derek Jeter is out of the Yankees’ lineup after being hit by a pitch in his right middle finger on Sunday, and the competition between Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova is seemingly on. The Yankees announced they were going with a six-man rotation this week, with Nova — who gave up two runs in seven innings during his big league return on Saturday — starting Thursday, Bartolo Colon sliding back to Friday, CC Sabathia pitching on normal rest Saturday and Freddy Garcia getting the nod on six days’ rest Sunday.
More on that later, but just know this: Hughes’ Tuesday start is a big one. He knows it, and they know it.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez (knee surgery) is slated to be in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday and plans to resume workouts by Thursday. How long would it take for him to get back once he starts those workouts? Joe Girardi wouldn’t say, but mid-August is at least looking good.
Here are your lineups …
Pitching: LH Sabathia (15-5, 2.56 ERA)
Pitching: RH Jake Peavy (4-4, 5.27 ERA)
You know, for all this talk about the unbalanced schedule, it sure does feel like a long time since the Yankees and Red Sox met. A lot has happened since April 17. Think they’ll remember how to play a lengthy game?
Here’s the quick hits pre-game that you need to know about … Melky Cabrera is back in the lineup and they hope the day off cleared his head. This 0-for-19 slump might have been wearing on him quite a bit, but you’d never be able to tell by his demeanor. I crossed paths with Melky in the clubhouse and he was upbeat, saying the day off was good for him and Joe Girardi told him it’d just be for one night.
It also seems that Hideki Matsui won’t be able to pick up a bat this weekend, as the Yankees originally thought he would. Surgery still is being viewed as a last resort, but it’s clear that something continues to not be going well in that left knee of his. If Matsui has surgery, he said his ’08 season will be over, so they’ll do everything possible to avoid going under the knife. If that means Matsui has to sit out until after the All-Star Break, so be it.
Fun fact: The last time the Yankees and Red Sox met this late in the season with neither team occupying first place in the AL East was Sept. 15, 1997, when the Orioles paced the division.
You knew it was too good to last. The Yankees played their first four hour-plus game of the season on Wednesday at the Stadium, a 15-9 slugfest with the Red Sox that played – for the first five innings, especially – like the co-ed softball games I used to umpire in Rockland County. (That was a lot of fun. Hopefully someone remembers all the times I beat the runner down the first base line as a single-man umpiring crew. I’m a hustler.)
20 runs crossed the plate in the first five frames alone, but LaTroy Hawkins and Brian Bruney especially stopped the bleeding and deserve a lot of credit for this one. Chien-Ming Wang had little but neither did Clay Buchholz, and for as sharp as they both looked last Friday in Boston, this was a definite pounding for each guy.
This evening brings us Mike Mussina and Josh Beckett in what, on paper, reads like a mismatch. You never know when Moose is going to be able to spot his command, though, and you can’t write him off for this one. If he’s able to hit his spots and stay below 100 pitches in five innings, the Yankees have a chance.
Why not? The bats are warming up and this looks more like the offense that we’ve been saying can pound bad pitchers into submission. Beckett, however, is not one of those guys. He’s a bonafide ace and they’ll have their work cut out for them.
The old place looks pretty much how we remembered it. There’s a new Coca-Cola neon sign over the third base upper deck and there’s a few more seats crammed into the building, but it’s still Fenway Park and it’s still Red Sox vs. Yankees.
It doesn’t matter what month it is, this is always a special one. The Yankees are feeling a little bit better after Andy Pettitte pitched them to a win in Kansas City last night, avoiding what would have been a deflating three-game sweep to the Royals. It hasn’t been the most thrilling first 10 games for the Yankees, but they’re 5-5 with 152 left to play, and you probably have to take that and not worry too much about it.
After all, the Red Sox – the team so many prognosticators are choosing as the ‘team to beat’ in the American League – have the exact same record as the Yankees. That’ll change tonight, and the Yankees hope Chien-Ming Wang tips it in their favor.