Yankees-Red Sox Preview
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have created plenty of
memorable moments at Fenway Park heading into the venerable
stadium’s 100th anniversary.
The AL East archrivals, though, are both trying to shake off
uneven starts in their first series of the season Friday while
those centennial celebrations take place.
The teams met at Fenway for the first time on April 20, 1912,
when Tris Speaker’s 11th-inning single gave the Red Sox a 7-6
victory. While many former players will be in Boston for the
festivities, their iconic rivalry versus the Yankees has included
some of the sport’s enduring moments and images over a century of
baseball at Fenway Park:
– The “Curse of the Bambino” following Babe Ruth’s trade from
the Red Sox to the Yankees as the latter rose to power in the
– Joe DiMaggio hitting safely twice at Fenway during his
still-standing major league-record 56-game hitting streak in 1941
while fellow Hall of Famer Ted Williams went 16 for 35 in 11 home
games versus New York en route to becoming the last player to hit
.400 that same season.
– The Red Sox beating the Yankees in the final game of the 1948
season at Fenway to knock them from the AL pennant race.
– The “Boston Massacre” in 1978 when the Yankees swept a
four-game road series as they erased a 14 1/2-game deficit in a
division race eventually decided on a three-run homer by Bucky
“Bleepin'” Dent over the 37-foot Green Monster in left field in a
one-game playoff at Fenway.
– Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez throwing Yankees bench coach –
and 1978 Red Sox skipper – Don Zimmer to the ground after he
charged from the bench during the 2003 AL championship series that
triggered a brawl.
– Dave Roberts’ steal of second base the following year in the
bottom of the ninth of Game 4 in the ALCS that ignited a Red Sox
rally to win that game and an eventual stunning seven-game series
victory after trailing 3-0. That led to the World Series title
which finally ended the “curse.”
”There’d be a revolution in this town if they got rid of Fenway
Park,” said Gary Bell, a pitcher on the 1967 ”Impossible Dream”
team that won the AL pennant after finishing ninth the previous
year. ”They can’t ever get rid of this place. Look at it. It’s
like a cathedral.”
The quirky dimensions of Fenway – the Green Monster, created in
1934 as part of a massive renovation project which stretches 228
feet in fair territory, the triangle in the deepest part of center
field 420 feet from the plate, the 302-foot short porch down the
right field line – all continue to endure and provide a distinct
home-field advantage for the Red Sox and targets for opposing
“That’s what makes it different than anywhere else,” said
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who has hit .256 with 15 home runs
in 136 regular-season and playoff games at Fenway. ”I still aim
for the wall. … That’s been my problem.”
Jeter has had few problems at the plate this season, carrying a
10-game hitting streak into Fenway while batting .373 overall. He
had an RBI single in the second and came around to score on the
second of Curtis Granderson’s three home runs Thursday night when
the Yankees (7-6) overcame a four-run first-inning deficit to beat
“A lot of work went into today before we actually stepped onto
the field. Had some big issues with timing,” said Granderson, who
doubled his season home run total.
While Jeter is 5 for 18 lifetime versus scheduled Red Sox
starter Clay Buchholz (1-0, 9.82 ERA), Granderson has been unable
to solve the right-hander – going 0 for 11 with six strikeouts.
Buchholz gutted out a victory Saturday versus Tampa Bay, allowing
five runs and six hits in seven innings as the Red Sox pulled away
for a 13-5 win.
He is 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA in seven lifetime starts against the
Yankees, but facing them at Fenway has stymied Buchholz, who is 0-2
with a 6.14 ERA in three outings.
Boston (4-8) has dropped three straight on its nine-game
homestand after winning the first three. The Red Sox lost both
their games to Texas, including a 6-3 setback Wednesday.
“We didn’t pull it off in the end. We had some good at-bats,”
said Kevin Youkilis, who homered, to the team’s official website.
“It’s nice to hit a home run, but when you don’t win the ballgame,
it really doesn’t matter.”
Youkilis is 5 for 18 in his last five games after going 2 for 20
in his first five.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova (2-0, 4.15) hasn’t enjoyed much
success at Fenway with an 0-1 record and 6.75 ERA in two outings.
He was able to pitch with a big lead Sunday against the Los Angeles
Angels, yielding four runs and eight hits in six innings of an 11-5
The teams split eight games at Fenway last year, and the Yankees
hold a 55-54 edge there since the start of the 2000 regular