Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Road Ahead: Boston Red Sox (75-55) at New York Yankees (70-60)

  • Tues. 8/26, 7:05pm – RHP Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17)
  • Wed. 8/27, 7:05pm – RHP Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61) vs. RHP Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67)
  • Thur. 8/28, 1:05pm – LHP Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49) vs. RHP Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45)

Yankees vs. Red Sox - Must-Win for New YorkAppropriately, the last Red Sox-Yankees match up at Yankee Stadium is a must-win series. Sitting five games behind Boston in the AL wild card race, New York (70-60) hosts the Red Sox (75-55) in a crucial three-game series beginning tonight.

Yankees vs. Red SoxThe Yankees come in off an impressive sweep of last-place Baltimore. The Orioles had won eight of 12 from New York but the inconsistent Yankee offense clicked, scoring 22 runs in three games.

Boston is wrapping up a nine-game road trip having started 4-2. With a sweep, the Red Sox could extend its lead over New York to eight games, crushing the Yankees’ postseason chances.

Tonight’s starter, Andy Pettitte has started 29 regular-season games against the Red Sox in his career; he is 16-7 with a 3.54 ERA. However, over his last five starts against Boston, he has an unimpressive 6.23 ERA. In his last outing, Wednesday in Toronto, Pettitte went seven innings en route to a 5-1 Yankees win.

Realistically, if the Yankees are going to have any chance of extending their season into October, New York must sweep Boston. Both the Red Sox and the Yankees have 32 games remaining. If Boston finished just 16-16, the Yankees would still have to go 21-11 to match Boston’s 91 wins.

That’s not even taking in to consideration the other wild card contenders (Minnesota and Chicago), who would also have to play .500 for the math to work. It’s a tall order and we need a lot of help. Making matters worse, the three New York starters – Pettitte, Sidney Ponson and Mike Mussina – at 2-4 with an 8.59 ERA in six starts against the Red Sox this season.

No comments: