Yankees-Red Sox preview
BOSTON -- CC Sabathia is just 12-13 with a 4.54 ERA against the Boston Red Sox in his career. But you wouldn't know it from the stats posted by the current Boston players as the left-hander heads into Sunday night's start for the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.
Sabathia will try to help his team avoid a sweep of the four-game series that has essentially ended its postseason hopes.
The current Red Sox are hitting a combined .232 with five homers and 20 RBIs against Sabathia, who brings a 5-5 record and 5.15 Fenway ERA into the rain-threatened game.
Hanley Ramirez comes in 0-for-10 against Sabathia, and David Ortiz is at .219 with two homers in 73 at-bats, Aaron Hill is 4-for-31, Xander Bogaerts is 2-for-15 and Jackie Bradley Jr. is 3-for-14 with seven strikeouts.
"Obviously, with CC on the mound, we'll see some different guys on the field just based on the left-right situation," Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Saturday's game, noting Ortiz, who is 16-for-73 against Sabathia, might get the night off.
Sabathia, who faces fellow left-hander Drew Pomeranz in the final Fenway game of the season between the rivals, has been pitching well, with four quality starts in his last five outings. He has faced the Red Sox just once this season, yielding nine hits and five runs (four earned) in a July 16 loss at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees came to Boston in the middle of the American League wild-card picture and four games out of first place in the AL East. They were set to make it even closer when they blew the opener in a Red Sox ninth-inning rally. Boston also won Friday and then rallied to win Saturday.
"We know we're making it tough on ourselves and don't expect this group to give up until we're eliminated," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "So I don't think anybody here thinks we're completely out of it now. But we know it's going to be tough, so we know we're going to have to win almost every game just to try to get back in this thing."
Pomeranz, acquired by the Red Sox from the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza in what has become a controversial deal (Padres general manager A.J. Prella suspended for 30 days for withholding medical information), is 2-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 11 starts with the Red Sox and 10-12 with a 3.25 ERA overall.
He has pitched twice against the Yankees this season, allowing two runs in 12 1/3 innings but posting a 0-0 record.
Current Yankee hitters are batting a combined .211 with two homers against Pomeranz. Starlin Castro is 0-for-7, Mark Teixeira 1-for-9 with four strikeouts and Chase Headley 2-for-12 with five Ks. Jacoby Ellsbury is 3-for-7 and Brett Gardner 3-for-9 with a home run. Didi Gregorius has the other home run.
Pomeranz, who has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last eight starts, said he had no knowledge of what his former team was up to with his medical records.
"I've been asked about this before," he told WEEI.com on Friday. "I don't really know anything about that. That part's above my head. I'm just the guy who got traded. I don't know any of this stuff that's going on, any of the back and forth. I don't really know how the whole thing went down at all."