New York Yankees Should Put Boston Red Sox in the Hamper This Weekend

August 20, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The New York Yankees wore out Boston during a four-game sweep in the Bronx earlier this month, but now New York has a chance to put the Red Sox away for good as they travel to Fenway Park for a three-game series this weekend.

The Bombers currently hold a 6.5-game lead in the AL East, so another sweep would end the divisional race, but even winning two games would virtually lock up the East for New York.

But that’s easier said than done.

The Red Sox are a completely different team at home where they sport a 38-18 record and a 6-0 mark against the Yanks. Boston has done a way better job taking advantage of the Green Monster in left field, resulting in seven runs per game during the season series there.

But New York hasn’t visited Fenway since June 11 and the Pinstripes are playing much better baseball these days. Will that continue this weekend? The pitching match-ups seem to indicate it will.


Friday, August 21Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.09) vs. Brad Penny (7-7, 5.22)

Pettitte will be pitching on six days rest when he takes the hill Friday. In his career, the southpaw has a 3.69 ERA when taking at least that much time off between starts, as opposed to a 3.91 ERA on normal rest.

That’s good new for the Yankees, who have already seen Andy pitch very well over his last four starts (1-0, 1.38). One of those games was on Aug. 9, when he shutout Boston through seven innings as New York went on to win 5-2.

Pettitte didn’t fare as well in Fenway on April 26, when he gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks over six innings to earn the loss.

In his career, the lefty is 16-9 with a 3.63 ERA against the Red Sox, including a 6-3 mark with a 3.60 ERA in Boston.

But many of the Sox hit very well against the Texan. Jason Bay is 12-for-27 (.444), J.D. Drew is 12-for-32 (.375) with three doubles and three homers, David Ortiz is 17-for-46 (.370) with six doubles, Kevin Youkilis is 9-for-25 (.360) and Mike Lowell is 8-for-24 (.333). Only Victor Martinez (3-for-13) and Dustin Pedroia (6-for-32) seem to struggle against Pettitte.

Penny, meanwhile, has not been pitching well of late. He’s 0-3 with a 7.54 ERA over his last four starts, but he looked much better against the Yankees on June 11, when he shut them out through six innings.  In his career, the right hander is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against New York.

Derek Jeter should continue his torrid hitting (22 for his last 40) because he’s 3-for-6 against Penny, but Mark Teixeira (0-for-9), Alex Rodriguez (0-for-4) and Johnny Damon (0-for-5) haven’t done as well.

Prediction: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4


Saturday, August 22A.J. Burnett (10-6, 3.69) vs. Junichi Tazawa (1-2, 5.40)

The last time Tazawa faced the Yankees, he surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to A-Rod in the 15th inning. What a way to break into the majors.  He’s made two starts since then, pitching well against Detroit (5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, W) and not so well at Texas (5 IP, 10 H, 4R, 4ER, 3 BB, 0 K, L).  I’d expect something closer to that Rangers game on Saturday.

Burnett, on the other hand, was stellar in that marathon game on Aug. 7. He gave up just one hit, but walked six, as he bageled Boston over 7.2 frames. 

That somewhat made up for his two terrible starts against the Red Sox earlier this year. On June 9, the right-hander was chased in the third inning after surrendering five runs (three earned) on five hits and five walks. Six weeks before that, he was banged around for eight runs over five innings as the Yankees lost 16-11.

Both of those games were at Fenway Park, where Burnett used to have success (he’s still 3-1 with a 3.56 ERA in five starts there). Overall against the Red Sox, A.J. is 5-1 with a 3.39 ERA.

In their careers against Burnett, Bay is 6-for-18 (.333) and Jacoby Ellsbury is 6-for-20 (.300), but Lowell is 4-for-20 (.200) with four strikeouts and Martinez is 3-for-15 (.200).

Prediction: Yankees 6, Red Sox 4


Sunday, August 23CC Sabathia (14-7, 3.58) vs. Josh Beckett (14-4, 3.38)

This will be the best pitching match-up of the weekend and possibly one of the best of the entire season as two Cy Young candidates do battle on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

Sabathia has been absolutely outstanding over his last three starts, going 3-0 with a microscopic 1.14 ERA. That streak began with a 7.2-inning, two-hit shutout performance against Boston on Aug. 8. 

The big lefty didn’t pitch as well against the Red Sox on June 11, when he surrendered four runs in seven innings for the loss.

In his career, Sabathia is 3-5 with a 3.57 ERA against Boston and 1-2 with a 3.00 at Fenway Park.

Not very many Red Sox hitters have good averages against CC other than Youkilis (4-for-12) and Ortiz (7-for-23 with two HR). Drew is 2-for-10 (.200) with five strikeouts, Martinez is 1-for-6 (.167), Brian Anderson, who was recently acquired from the White Sox, is 3-for-19 (.158) with eight Ks, Lowell is 2-for-13 (.154) with five whiffs, and Bay and Pedroia are a combined 0-for-15.

Beckett is coming off his worst start since April, after he allowed seven runs in 5.1 innings at Toronto. Prior to that, however, he was great, including seven scoreless innings against New York in that 15-inning affair.

That Aug. 7 game was atypical for the right-hander, who usually pitches poorly against the Yankees but gets a great deal of run support, as evidenced by his 9-4 record but 5.03 ERA in his career against New York.

His April 25 start against the Bombers was a good example of this because he gave up eight runs, but Boston still won 16-11. In 2009, Beckett is 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA in four starts versus the Yanks.

Robinson Cano (14-for-41, 5 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI) hits well against the 29-year-old, as does Melky Cabrera (12-for-36) and Jorge Posada (10-for-31).  Teixeira, however, is 2-for-16 (.125) with six strikeouts.

Prediction: Boston 3, Yankees 2


Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees Community Leader.  His book “Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man” is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

readers comments

Yankee Tickets

Yankee Tickets

Shop Yankee

Shop Yankee