The Sox have owned the Yankees in the first two series the teams have played this season, compiling a 5-1 record in the 2011 version of this most heated rivalry in sports. Both teams come into tonight's series-opener in the Bronx playing well, with the Sox having swept the A's and the Yankees returning from a 6-3 west coast swing which included their own sweep of the A's, and during which they faced as tough a string of starting pitchers as they are likely to face all season.
The offenses for both teams have begun to click up and down the line-ups with a few notable exceptions (J.D. Drew and Nick Swisher are among the 5 worst RF's in baseball on a wide variety of offensive metrics, though Swisher has started to hit with power again lately; and only 3 players have as many PAs with as bad a BA as Jorge – woo-hoo!).
As for the pitching, Lester's last few outings have not matched his superlative early starts and Wakefield – who can be either a disaster or confoundingly effective – will start game two for the Sox. Tonight the Yankees send out their own confounding old man – Freddy Garcia – to face Lester and AJ Burnett will compete with Wakefield for most wild pitches and passed balls tomorrow night.
As for the finale on Thursday, it's a beaut: Josh Beckett, who is having a sensational year, will face CC Sabathia, who is in the best stretch of his season, having thrown 25 innings in his last 3 starts combined, giving up a total of 5 ERs.
For tonight: which Lester will show up, and will Freddy drive the Sox crazy or will they pound his funky-stuff into oblivion?
For tomorrow: what's the over/under on wild pitches + passed balls? (I say 5)
For Thursday: who drinks whose milkshake in the finale (my money is certainly on CC there)?
Use this for the pre-series analysis, chest-thumping, and hair-pulling. I'll be at the game tonight and try to send some color commentary periodically once the gamethread's up.
6 replies on “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”
Sox sweep. Bloodbath.
Taking 2 out of 3 would be hot, but I’ll say it’ll be the opposite of that. Beckett’s due for a pounding from the Yankees, and they are going to own Wakefield all three innings he lasts. So I’d say they should win tonight if they can. It’s not May any longer, Lester!
I love that this site has so conditioned fans into respectful engagement that a thread meant to induce chest-thumping instead sparks hand-wringing and predictions of series losses by both fanbases!
OK, here goes: While I’ve been feeling since the season started that the Sox are a better team, mainly because of their pitching, I am now questioning that edge in pitching, particualrly when the pen is thrown in. Now as I’ve said before, I don’t expect the Garcia-Colon AARP-party to last the whole season, but at this moment, and hopefully through to late July or so, I am hopeful.
This means I think this season-series is due for a course correction. I don’t think the Yanks sweep, but I think they take this chapter of the season series – 2 out of 3. True to their recent form, I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped the first and won the next two.
I also predict a great start by AJ. Yes, I said it. May God strike me down.
Sorry, IH, I also am predicting the Yanks take two of three, which is fine by me. Anytime the Sox can leave the Bronx with one win in a three game series I’m happy.
Lester 7.2 innings, 3 hits, 0 walks 8 K’s
Freddy won’t get out of the 3rd…