By Jon Lane
Not since 1974 have the Red Sox won six straight
games against the Yankees in one season, when they ran off seven
consecutive victories over their rivals. At that time the rivalry was
simmering before exploding later that decade. Dating back to 2003, this
has been at another level, and another chapter will be written starting
tonight. You can catch the game on My9, and tune into YES for complete
pre and postgame coverage starting with Yankees Batting Practice Today at 6 p.m.
Here’s where the teams stand:
Yankees are in the AL East penthouse, one game ahead of the Red Sox,
and are a much different team than the one that dropped five straight
to them in the early going. Alex Rodriguez has since returned to the
lineup and New York has been on a 21-8 run. A-Rod may be batting .248,
but has eight home runs in 29 at-bats. More important is that his mere
presence alone has had a major impact Mark Teixeira, who is is batting
.364 with 13 homers and 36 RBIs hitting ahead of A-Rod in the lineup.
Teixeira, incidentally, now leads AL first baseman in All-Star voting.
starters are 12-2 in their last 24 games while limiting opponents to
three earned runs or fewer in 18 of 25 starts. Leading the way is CC
Sabathia, who has pitched at least eight innings in six of his last
eight starts (4-1, two no-decisions). The burly lefty starts Thursday
night against Brad Penny.
- Big start tonight for A.J. Burnett,
4-2 with a 4.69 ERA and seeking his third straight win after going
winless since April 14. Burnett leads the Yankees with 65 strikeouts
and is seeking redemption both team-oriented and personal. His last
time pitching at Fenway Park, Burnett blew a 6-0 lead on April 25,
allowing eight runs on eight hits in five innings of a 16-11 loss.
“We owe them a couple,” Burnett said.
start for Chien-Ming Wang Wednesday night. Everyone is well aware of
Wang’s early-season troubles and terrible track record at Fenway (3-3,
5.11 ERA in seven starts). Wang returned to the rotation last week and
while he was far from great, it was something to build on
considering what he’s had to endure. However, you’d think his leash
will be short. Many are speculating (including me) that Phil Hughes
will be summoned almost immediately if Wang digs himself a hole.
you also know, David Ortiz is in the throes of an awful season. Big
Papi, who’s made his living killing the Yankees and rivaling Tom Brady
and Adam Vinatieri as Boston’s greatest clutch performer, is batting
.197 with two homers and 22 RBIs in 51 games. He visited an eye doctor
on Monday and his vision checked out well, which has left the Back Bay
mystified as to what has happened to him. Leave to Red Sox Nation to
panic. A few callers phoned into WEEI-AM saying he “stinks” and needs
to be relegated to part-time duty. Good line from Dale & Holley
though in response to Joe Girardi’s complaint about the Yankees playing
nine straight games in National League cities: The Red Sox played 50
games without a DH, the Yankees can play nine.” Ouch.