The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will live on after the 2008 season, however, Yankee Stadium will not. Over the next month, the ‘House that Ruth Built’ will be seeing its final stretch of games before the doors close for good, highlighted by the three game series with the Red Sox which begins tonight. Over the history of the ballpark, the Red Sox and Yankees have met 770 times in New York during the regular season with the Yankees owning an impressive 483-283 advantage with four ties mixed in over the years.
“Because of the media and the fans, there’s more energy or electricity in the ballpark, but you can’t bring in a pitcher an inning earlier. They don’t give you two wins when you beat the Yankees, so you can’t do it differently,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said ahead of the three-game series.
Heading into tonight’s matchup, the Sox hold a five game lead over the Yankees in the wild-card race but with a total of six remaining meetings between the two teams, it is far too early to count the Bronx Bombers out of the race. Last year, it appeared the Yankees streak of 12 consecutive seasons of qualifying for the playoffs was in jeopardy but they played amazing baseball over the final six weeks to squeak in with the wild card berth. If the Yanks can not win this series against Boston, their streak of 13 consecutive playoff bids will certainly be at risk once again.
“If we put on a run here, there’s no question we can make it,” Hank Steinbrenner, a Yankees’ co-chairman, said Monday night at the team’s spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. “There’s no question with the number of games we have left, it’s possible.”
One Sox player who is really excited about the series is newcomer Jason Bay. The recently acquired left-fielder has never experienced a rivalry with such magnitude as he’s about to, but he’s ready for it.
“I’m looking forward to it. That’s what you play baseball for is that type of atmosphere, those type of games,” said Bay, acquired by Boston from Pittsburgh last month in the Manny Ramirez trade.
Tonight, the Yankees will send veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17 ERA) to the mound to face the Sox veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA). The start will be Wakefield’s first since returning from the DL with stiffness in his lower back and right shoulder tenderness, causing him to miss two weeks of action.
Tomorrow’s matchup features two pitchers who have also been around the league for quite some time. The Yankees will let Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67 ERA) take the ball while Boston will hand it to Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61 ERA). Ponson’s career began in 1998 while Byrd first pitched in the big leagues in 1995. The two have both logged over 1600 career innings pitched.
In the series finale, Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45 ERA), will toss against Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49 ERA) in the last regular season game at Yankee Stadium between the two storied franchises. Lester is 2-0 in his young career against New York while Mussina boasts a lifetime record of 20-17 against Boston in 55 starts.
The series could make or break the last month for the Yankees but as far as the history of the stadium goes, Terry Francona just wants to focus on these three games and try to ignore the hype about everything else.
“I guess I felt more of that during the All-Star game because it was an All-Star game and you had time to maybe think about things,” he said. “When we’re playing the team, we’re just trying to beat them. That’s really what I care about. I don’t get too caught up in the other stuff.”
Tonight’s first pitch is at 7:05pm EST.
Not many people thought they would see Carl Pavano back on the mound for the Yankees, but this past Saturday the “American Idle” made his first start since April of 2007. The result was actually rather good. Pavano pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with five strike-outs. It was only Pavano’s 20th start since signing a large multi-year deal with the Yankees in 2005.
The Yankees got Pavano his first win since 2007 with help from Jason Giambi’s 25th homer and 3 RBI. Hideki Matsui also contributed with a solo shot of his own. The Yankees will need more of the same from Pavano if they still want a shot at post-season play. Without Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain the Yankees are thin on starting pitching. The Yankees currently trail the Red Sox by 5 games in the AL Wild Card race.
The Yankees will open up a three game set against the Red Sox this Tuesday. Yankees tickets are still available for the game.
Is Hank Steinbrenner giving up on the 2008 season? Not really, but it sounds like he’s not too confident about the New York Yankees chances of making the playoffs this year. “I’m not writing off this season,” Hank said Tuesday. “They’re trying hard to win. There’s only so much you can do. They’re not supermen.” Indeed they are not. The Yankees have been decimated by injuries this season. They are currently without two of their top starters in Chien Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. Also out are starters Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui. Without the pitching it will be very hard for the Yankees to catch the teams ahead of them.
The Yankees currently trail the 1st place Rays by eight games and the 2nd place Red Sox by 5 games. Its no wonder why Hank is already thinking about 2009. “We’re going to win it next year,” he said. “If we need to add a top veteran pitcher, we’ll do that. We’ll do whatever we need to do. Next year we’ll be extremely dangerous.” At least he’s confident.
If the Yankees can win it all in 2009 it will certainly add some mystique to the new Yankee Stadium. Maybe it will be the House that A-Rod built! But, probably not.
The New York Yankees were able to end their series in Texas on a high note. After dropping the 1st two games of the series and losing Joba Chamberlain to injury, the Yankees bounced back to win the final two games against the Rangers. In last night’s win veteran Mike Mussina picked up his 15th win and the Yankees shutout a potent Rangers offense.
They Yankees got on the board early with a solo homerun by Derek Jeter. Jeter would later add an RBI single, as the Yankees went on to win 3-0. Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect 9th, earning his 28th consecutive save on the season. Alex Rodriguez continued to struggle in Texas and went 0-14 in the series.
Things won’t get easier for the Yankees. They continue their road trip tonight against the LA Angels for the 1st of a three game set.
Things took a turn for the worse last night in Texas for the New York Yankees. The Yankees who just opened a 10 game road trip, lost the game to the Rangers on a 9th inning grand slam by Marlon Byrd. The loss came after starter Joba Chamberlain was forced to leave the game in the 5th inning due to shoulder tightness. Losing Joba could be a big blow to the Yankees chances in the AL East. Already without starter Chien Ming Wang the Yankees have been relying on the arms of Joba, Mussina and Pettite. Joba is headed back to New York for further tests and will likely miss at least one turn in the rotation.
The Yankees’ loss last night was also particularly frustrating considering they had battled back to tie the game at 5-5 in the 8th inning. The Yankees also missed an opportunity to pick up a game on the 1st place Rays and 2nd place Red Sox. The Yankees and Rangers will be back at it tonight with Andy Pettite facing off against Matt Harrison.
It was a good day for the New York Yankees. Not only did they break their three game losing streak but the Yanks also got some major help behind the plate with the addition of Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez. Pudge came over late today in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for reliever Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees announced the news after handily defeating the Baltimore Orioles 13-3 in a day game at the Stadium.
The Yankees offense got the ball rolling for them in the 1st inning when walks by Jeter and Abreu led to quick runs after an Alex Rodriguez single. Abreu followed Jeter home on the play when the throw to the plate sailed over the catcher’s head. A-Rod scored the third run when he came home on a passed ball.
Abreu would go on to add 2 homeruns and 3 RBI while A-Rod added a homer of his own and finished the day with 2 RBI. Joba Chamberlain got the win for the Yankees for his first back to back wins as a starter. Joba went 6 innings, striking out 6 and giving up just 1 run.
The win was key for the Yankees who are in a tight race in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. They Yankees now trail the 2nd place Red Sox by 1.5 games and the 1st place Rays by 4 games. Things won’t get any easier for the Yankees this week as the MLB’s best team, the Los Angeles Angels come to New York for a four game series.
Yankees Tickets are still available for all four games with the Angels.
The New York Yankees will have to maintain their second half surge without starting catcher Jorge Posada who opted to have season ending surgery on his ailing shoulder. Posada has only played in 51 games in this 2008 season due to the injury and has been mainly ineffective especially in throwing runners out. Posada was debating on whether or not to delay surgery and play injured for the remainder of the year either as DH or at 1st Base. The Yankees however have an abundance of 1st Base/DH help on their bench with the recent additions of Richie Sexson and OF Xavier Nady.
The surgery will sideline Posada for at least six months and may delay his Spring Training work as pitchers and catchers report to camp in February. New York catcher Jose Molina has filled in nicely for Posada and will continue to be in the starting lineup behind the plate.
Just when it seemed like the Boston Red Sox bats had gone dormant, they came to life Sunday night in a 15-hit barrage against the New York Yankees in Boston’s 9-2 win. The win prevented New York from sweeping the three game weekend series and leaves Boston two games ahead of the Bronx Bombers in the standings, and one game behind Tampa Bay for the AL East Division lead.
In Friday night’s game, New York received a near flawless pitching performance by rookie Joba Chamberlain. In seven innings of work, Chamberlin allowed only 3 hits while striking out nine Red Sox batters and surrendered no runs. Mariano Rivera worked the final five outs to preserve New York’s 1-0 win. Their lone run off of Josh Beckett came in the 4th inning on an RBI infield single from Jason Giambi.
“I’ve had quality starts against everybody,” Chamberlain said. “You understand it’s going to be a tough game. He (Beckett) is an unbelievable pitcher. He battles and claws.”
Saturday in a pitching match up between two veterans it was Andy Pettitte and the Yankees who got the upper hand of Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball in New York’s 10-3 win. Boston jumped out early and grabbed a pair of runs in the first inning on an RBI single by David Ortiz followed by a Manny Ramirez RBI ground out. After that, it was pretty much all New York.
The Yankees connected for 13 hits total, eight off of Wakefield in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Heading into the 6th inning and the score still close at 3-2 NY, Wakefield struggled to get outs, the Yanks put four more runs on the board and knocked him out of the game. The win was Pettitte’s 12th on the season and the Yankees were 8-0 in eight games after the All Star break.
“Our pitching has been really good all year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s what’s kept us afloat. And now we’re starting to hit better. We’re starting to score runs. It’s a good combination to have.”
After falling twice, the Sox sent Jon Lester to the mound to try and stop the bleeding and that he did. Once again, the young southpaw was able to pick up a victory by tossing seven innings and allowing only two earned runs on nine hits while striking out eight batters along the way.
“Luckily, we get some runs early and I held it.” Lester said. “It definitely felt like a different atmosphere in the dugout tonight. Guys were laughing, having fun, seemed like they were going up to the plate more relaxed.”
The Sox were able to score three runs in the first, a run in the second and third inning and then two more runs in the fourth which came on Ortiz’s first homerun since returning from his wrist injury. On the series, Ortiz went 5-12 with a HR and four RBI’s.
Manny Ramirez also had a stellar game going 3-5 at the plate with two RBI’s and two runs scored. This came after he made a few typical Manny-esk remarks before the game began that created a little buzz in the media room, but did not really surprise anyone. In the past, the eight year Sox veteran has demanded trades during the 2005 and 2006 off-season. Ramirez originally told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday that he wouldn’t object to a trade if the Red Sox are better without him.
Later, in the clubhouse, he said, “What I said was, if the Red Sox think they can find a trade that’s going to make their team better and both sides are going to be happy, I’m going to agree. But they cannot find a trade. It’s something simple. It’s no big deal.”
Mike Lowell may have put it best when after the game he said, “Manny says a lot of things. Some of them are entertaining. Some of them make you roll your eyes and spin your head. But it seems like every time after he says something he goes 3-for-4 so maybe we should encourage him to say something like that.”
Ramirez’s RBI double in the first inning gave him 1,668 on his career and puts him in the 23rd spot for all-time, surpassing Sammy Sosa whom he had been tied with prior to the game.
Tonight, the Red Sox welcome the Los Angeles Angels to town. The Sox whom boast the best home record in baseball at 37-13 know that the Angels will be another tough test because they come in with the best road record in baseball at 33-19. Back in April the Angels took two of three from Boston so the Sox look to turn the tables on their West Coast foes.
Dice-K Matsuzaka (11-1, 2.85 ERA) looks to pick up his 12th victory on the season and will have to do so against the Angels Jered Weaver (8-8, 4.08 ERA). Weaver is 0-2 lifetime against Boston and in his only outing against them this season pitched five innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits in a game on April 22nd at Fenway.
Matsuzaka has only faced LA once in his short MLB career and allowed three earned runs in only 4 2/3 innings of work last season in Game 2 of the ALDS Playoff series, a game the Sox would win 6-3.
Tickets are still available for the remainder of the Angels series!
Facing the possibility of losing two starting players in Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui for the year, the New York Yankees sured up some offense and finally picked up a left handed reliever to help in their second half Pennant chase in the AL East. In a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates the Yankees picked up Right Fielder Xavier Nady who is having a fine offensive year with a .330 average and 13 home runs. Nady should pick up much of Matsui’s slack in left field. The Yankees also put left hander Damaso Marte in their bullpen with this trade.
The Yankees sent four minor leaguers to the Pirates including pitcher Russ Ohlendorf. The Yankees are still awaiting final word on both Posada and Matsui. Both players are mulling season ending surgery.
The Yankees are currently playing the Boston Red Sox in the first of a three game series. Game 2 of Red Sox vs Yankees will take place on Saturday July 26 at 3:55pm.
With next weeks trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees come into this weekend’s three game series with some needs. For the Yankees, both Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada are sidelined with injuries so New York may be looking to add a left-handed bat to their lineup. The Sox, on the other hand, are getting a left-handed bat without having to do anything.
David Ortiz will rejoin Boston’s lineup tonight after missing 47 games with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He was placed on the DL on June 3rd and over the course of his absence the Sox did not lost any ground in the division compiling a 26-19 overall record. Ortiz completed a six game rehab assignment this past week in which he went 5-for-18 (.278) with three home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not 100 percent, but I’m close to it,” said Ortiz, whose 53 extra-base hits versus the Yankees since the start of 2003 lead the majors. “I think I am where I would like to be.”
He’s right where manager Terry Francona and his teammates want him to be as well, back in the lineup.
“Getting him back is going to be huge,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia told the team’s official Web site. “His personality, his presence in the lineup—he changes the game just being in the lineup. We’ve tried to weather the storm long enough. It’s time to get David back and get ready for our final stretch run.”
The Yankees will look to add a left-handed slugger to make up for the two injuries and talks have begun to stir about the addition of the homerun king, Barry Bonds, who has been a free-agent all season.
“I’ll mention it. We’ll cover everything,” Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner said Thursday before club officials began high-level meetings. “No stone will be left unturned.”
In tonight’s match up, the Red Sox will send Josh Beckett (9-6, 3.98 ERA) to the mound to face the Yankees for the fourth time this season. Beckett boasts a 3-0 record vs. the division rivals beating them at home on April 12 and twice at Yankee Stadium on April 17th and July 4th.
New York will counter will rookie Joba Chamberlin (2-3, 2.52 ERA). Since entering the rotation, Chamberlin has started nine games and is 1-1 with a 2.64 ERA. In his July 6th start against Boston he allowed three earned runs on four hits in six innings of work at Yankee Stadium.
Saturday afternoon’s game will kick off around 4:00pm and featuring a veteran pitching match up. Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.69 ERA) will face Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.86 ERA) in a game that will showcase two pitchers who combined have won 386 games and thrown 5,411 innings in 30 total years of MLB service.
In the series finale, Jon Lester (8-3, 3.20 ERA) will face Sidney Ponson (6-1, 4.02 ERA). Over his past nine starts, Lester has been very impressive boasting a 5-0 record. Since being picked up on waivers by New York, Ponson has pitched very well holding a 2-0 record and a 4.36 ERA.
The Yankees are currently three games behind the Sox and Rays for the AL East lead so this series could make or break their run for the division. The Sox enter the series with the best home record in baseball (36-11) and have hope that this series can propel them to a division lead that they can hold onto for good.
It’s going to be a fun weekend at Fenway Park, so don’t miss the opportunity to see baseball hottest rivalry in action. Tickets are still available to Saturday and Sunday’s games!