Why the Yankees Have Dominated the Red Sox Since Aug. 6

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

Aug. 21 could be the beginning of the end for the Boston Red Sox.

Boston had risen to the pinnacle of the baseball world in a very dramatic fashion with their 2004 World Series win. They followed that up by winning again in 2007.

They were certainly a force to reckoned with coming into the season.

However, slowly but surely, things began to go into a decline for the Red Sox. And from those struggles, the Yankees have emerged with the best record in baseball and have left Boston in the dust.

One of the main reasons that the Yankees have been better than the Red Sox after the All-Star break is that they were smarter shoppers in the winter.

Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett have all come up big this season.

The Red Sox felt that they were fine in the winter and decided not to make many changes to their team. The only changes that they made were adding Takashi Saito, Brad Penny, Ramon Ramirez, and John Smoltz to their pitching staff. They only added Rocco Baldelli to their roster to serve as a fourth outfielder.

The Yankees were able to spot bargains in the winter when they traded a below average hitter, Wilson Betemit, for Nick Swisher, a good hitter that can play several positions on the field. The Red Sox, thought they had a bargain in John Smoltz and that move backfired horribly for them.

The Red Sox’ draft picks of the last nine years have been a strength. Kevin Youkilis (2001, eighth round), Dustin Pedroia (2004, second Round), and Jonathan Papelbon (2003, fourth Round) have all represented the Red Sox farm systems well in the majors.

The Yankees farmhands have just started getting hot in the majors. This year Joba Chamberlain (2006, first-round Supplemental), Phil Coke (2002, 26th Round), Phil Hughes (2004,first Round), and Brett Gardner (2005, third Round) have all represented the Yankees even better.

Chamberlain’s statistics are almost the same as Jon Lester. Phil Hughes and Phil Coke have both been a stronger set-ups to Mariano than the Red Sox set-up men. Brett Gardner has been the Yankees response to Jacoby Ellsbury. Both of them had been performing at about the same level until Gardner was hurt and lost his job.

The Yankees are a team full of leaders.

When Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte confessed their use of performance-enhancing drugs, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera were all at the press conference in support of their teammate.

When David Ortiz held a press conference, to say he needed more information to say why he failed the drug test, where were the rest of the Red Sox leaders?

The Red Sox’s leadership has come and gone. Most of their players have not stepped up to being leaders in the dugout nor on the field. Jason Varitek might be the only leader that the Red Sox have. The next could be Pedroia. 

The Yankees’ pitching has turned around since the All-Star break. Every single spot in the rotation is a threat for the opposing team and a chance to win for the Yankees.

Chad Gaudin, the newest addition to the rotation has performed at a high level since joining the Yankees and taking Sergio Mitre’s spot.

The Red Sox pitching has also turned around, but for the worse in some spots. Beckett and Lester have been dominant, but the other three spots in the rotation are struggling.

Brad Penny only has one win in his last 10 starts. The last time the Yankees met Junichi Tazawa he gave up the unforgettable Alex Rodriguez home run in the 15-inning game. Clay Buchholz might have beat Roy Halladay in his last start but he still has not emerged as the dominant major league starter he was projected to be.

Maybe the Red Sox should have made the deal for Roy Halladay.

The Red Sox’ lineup was full of holes against the Yankees in the last series.

The Yankees might have found the solution to pitching against Jason Bay, Pedroia, and  Youkilis. Ortiz has been mediocre the entire season and the Yankees have been able to control Mike Lowell. The Red Sox are hoping Victor Martinez’s addition to the rivalry will pay off this weekend in Fenway.

The Yankees have been on a tear. Jeter and Teixeira might be in a head-to-head battle for MVP. Joe Mauer is also in consideration but the edge might go to Teixeira and Jeter for carrying a team to the best record in baseball. The Yankees hitting definitely has an edge going into the series.

This series might prove to be the biggest series between these two rivals in 2009. The Red Sox have a lot to lose. They currently have the lead in the wild card and could lose it with another sweep.

They could also be left for dead in the American League East standings if they lose two-out-of-three.

Let the fireworks in Fenway begin!            

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