Yankees - 240 063 104 - 20 23 1
Red Sox - 100 033 004 - 11 12 1
Andy Pettitte (4.09, 109 ERA+) / Brad Penny (5.22, 91 ERA+)
George A. King III, Post:
What happened in the 2004 ALCS will never be deleted from every mainframe in the Yankees' universe. Not even a World Series title this season completely will erase those painful Red Sox memories that will haunt multiple generations.Something "special"? Is the possibility of extending a division lead in the middle of August "special"? Should it happen, is it "special" enough to warrant an ice cream reward?
Yet starting tonight in New England's living room, the Yankees can extract a wee bit of revenge by burying their blood rivals in the AL East race. Or they can allow the Red Sox to climb off the canvas and turn the final six weeks of the season into a two-way scoreboard-watching orgy.
"We have a chance to do something special against them," manager Joe Girardi said of his club, which leads the Red Sox by 6½ games after Boston blew out the Blue Jays 8-1 last night.
The Red Sox will emerge from this three-game weekend battle 3.5, 5.5, 7.5 or 9.5 GB the Yankees -- with 38 games remaining in the regular season.
A Boston series sweep -- as the Red Sox have done to the Yankees thrice this season, on April 24-25-26 and May 4-5 and June 9-10-11 -- would make things very interesting once again in the AL East, especially since the two teams will meet again, in New York, on September 25-26-27.
Tonight's game begins a 10-game homestand at Fenway Park. Twenty of the Red Sox's next 25 games are against the Yankees, White Sox, Rays and Angels. It is essential that they continue the strong pitching and hitting performances they showed in Toronto. The Yankees -- 25-9 since the All-Star break, including a four-game sweep of the Sox on August 6-7-8-9 -- have not won a game at Fenway Park since September 28, 2008.
Horseface started against the Red Sox on August 9 in New York, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing only five hits; he took the loss back on April 26. Penny turned in a 6-6-0-1-5 line against New York on June 11.
Weekend pitching match-ups:
In other news, Michael Kay is an asshole. (Do not miss the twitter link!)Sat 4 PM: A.J. Burnett / Junichi Tazawa
Sun 8 PM: CC Sabathia / Josh Beckett