Screw Bob Ryan; the state of this rivalry is strong. And tonight it will become stronger, as the historic adversaries face off in the first of their 18 meetings this season. The series pits the AL’s best defense against the AL’s best offense. This is, perhaps, a bit deceiving. The Sox are a dangerous offensive team. And while the Yanks have had trouble in their starting rotation (they throw two rookies in this series), their relief squad has been tops in the majors. It’s a short series. Small sample size. Anything can happen. Something odd probably will. We’ll see.
To begin the affair tonight, appropriately enough, are two old warhorses, Andy Pettitte and Curt Schilling, gamers both, each with a long and distinguished history of regular and postseason excellence. A marquee matchup, and a study in opposites. A brunette and a blonde. A lefty and a righty. A contact pitcher and a strike-out artist. A man of few words and—egads!—a blogger. Each has pitched well after a lousy first outing. Now they face serious competition. For Andy, that means a vicious middle of the order—Papi, Manny, J.D.—that seems to be pulling out of its early slumber. And watch out for those sneaky other batsmen. Danger lurks. For Curt, the trouble begins with A. A for Alex. A for A-Rod. He’s been pretty hot lately. You may have noticed. Actually, this is not quite correct. For Curt, the trouble really begins with Johnny Damon, and it runs right to the end of the lineup (or close to it, anyway). The Yankee offense is a violent, deadly beast.
Will Alex drive one over the Monster and out toward the Charles? Is the Old Curt back? Can Andy handle the Sox’s big bats? (Note: Manny is a career 25 for 59 off him, and Ortiz hits over .400—yikes.) How the strike zone is called might be a key factor. At the very least, this should be interesting. Comment on all the action, on and off the field, right here.