Red Sox-Yankees Preview
The New York Yankees are living up to their “Bronx Bombers”
nickname against Boston this season.
Bobby Valentine’s Red Sox have simply bombed in 2012.
Without ailing Mark Teixeira in the lineup, the Yankees will
look to continue teeing off against Red Sox pitching when the
rivals headed in different directions continue their three-game
New York (71-48) opened this set with a 6-4 victory Friday night
at Yankee Stadium on the strength of five solo home runs – two by
Nick Swisher and one apiece for Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and
Russell Martin. Jeter’s homer was the 250th of his career.
“If you do it long enough, good things happen,” said Jeter, who
joined Willie Mays as the only players with 3,000 hits, 250 homers,
300 steals and 1,200 RBIs. “I consider it a good number. Other
people might not. But for me it’s a lot of homers.”
The power surge was nothing new for the Yankees against the Red
Sox this season. New York has homered 28 times in 10 meetings –
seven wins – including a pair of contests with five homers. Swisher
has hit five of the long balls.
Given the ease with which the Yankees are hitting Boston
pitching, they are likely not tempted to rush Teixeira back into
action. The slugging first baseman is out of the starting lineup
for a second straight day due to a nagging wrist injury he
originally suffered against the Red Sox on July 29.
“The wrist is a little sore,” Teixeira said. “The same thing I
had two weeks ago, but we played 14 days straight, so it’s gotten
sore the last few days. We just want to give it a day or two to
calm down a little bit. I’m taking 50 swings in the cage. I’m
taking 20 on the field every day and the game swings, that just
adds up after a couple weeks.”
The losses keep adding up for the Red Sox (58-62) in Valentine’s
first season, though the manager said Friday he doesn’t agree with
club president Larry Lucchino’s comments that negative media
coverage is partly to blame for the team’s struggles.
“It’s been a real challenging year. A lot of things going on,”
Valentine said. “I don’t know if it’s more than I expected, but
it’s been challenging – just the way we like it.”
Valentine had to like what he saw from scheduled Saturday
starter Jon Lester (6-10, 5.20 ERA) in his last outing. The
left-hander struck out a season-high 12 in six innings of Sunday’s
14-1 rout of Cleveland, allowing one run and three hits to earn his
first win in six weeks. He had been 0-5 with a 7.49 ERA over his
previous seven starts.
Lester faced the Yankees twice during his winless drought,
getting charged with nine runs and 13 hits over 10 1-3 innings and
suffering one loss. He surrendered two homers – to Jayson Nix and
Chris Stewart – in a July 28 outing in the Bronx.
Nix is 6 for 16 (.375) with three homers in his career off
Lester, while Jeter is 19 for 55 (.345) with one home run.
David Phelps (3-3, 2.53) will take a second straight turn in the
rotation for New York in place of CC Sabathia, who is on the 15-day
disabled list due to left elbow soreness but could return next
weekend. Phelps threw a career-high five innings Monday, allowing
two runs and scattering six hits to earn an 8-2 victory over
The rookie right-hander has yielded three runs in six innings of
relief versus Boston this season.
The Yankees have won eight of 10 overall, while the Red Sox have
dropped seven of 10.