The Boston Red Sox come to Yankee Stadium tonight with the best record in Major League baseball and a 10 and one-half game lead in their division that would look formidable in September, but is incredible when one considers they have played only 43 (27%) of their games of the season. The Yankees, 42 games under their belt, are mired in the morass of mediocrity that is the the rest of the AL East, tied for second and 1.5 out of last.
Boston seems to have not a thing to worry about. In fact, the biggest concerns raised as of late on this board by Sox fans have been 1) why isn’t Pedroia playing more, 2) will fans please send Ortiz *and* Youk to San Francisco at the break, and 3) why does Steve Schoeneweis suck so much? The Sox have swagger. They have intimidation. They have Big Papi making statements like, "We don’t have to worry about nobody right now, Everybody needs to worry about us," and no one can argue with him. So it’s Boston vs. the Yanks. Last night’s victory aside (so that’s what winning feels like), what keeps a Yankee fan from curling up in a corner and rocking in a fetal position? Well, the offense does have its glow at moments, what with Jorge and Jeter doing truly remarkable things in their understated way and ARod hitting bombs again. It has been a real head-scratcher as to why things just won’t *click*.
Here’s a comparison of two nameless teams’ offenses so far this season.
|Stat||Team X||Team Y|
Wow. With offenses that closely matched, you would think those teams would stack up pretty well against each other for some good games. Now comes the short, sharp shock.
|Stat||Team Excellent||Team Why?|
|ERA(rank)||3.44 (4)||4.58 (25)|
|WHIP(rank)||1.25 (3)||1.40 (18)|
Well, at least the Yankees get to have the excitement of watching a new rookie pitcher every other night. After Clippard’s performance on the mound and in the box last night, I wonder should the Yanks stay National League for a bit, but I digress. On to the latest series, where the alignment of the rotations will see no rookie starters this go round of The Rivalry™ (barring bathroom accidents, pulled uvulas, locusts, meteor strikes…nothing would surprise at this point) as it’s Wakefield vs. Wang tonight, Tavarez vs. Mussina tomorrow, and Schilling vs. Pettitte on Wednesday. And the games have been interesting, although Team X currently leads the season series 5 to 1, and has scored 40 runs to Team Y’s 28. So be it; on with the show.
Here are the lineups:
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
It’s one hour to game time: Go, *insert team here*. Comment away.