Red Sox vs. Yankees Preview 9/27
|09.27.09 at 11:08 am ET|
The last time the Yankees clinched the AL East and won 100 games in a single season was the same year the Red Sox stole the show by putting together the greatest comeback in postseason history, ultimately winning the 2004 World Series and ending an 86-year championship drought.
When Red Sox hurler Paul Byrd (1-2, 6.04) takes the hill this afternoon for the series finale against the Yankees (99-56), he carries with him the potential to be the pitcher who allows New York to open the champagne bottles and celebrate its first division title since 2006.
After coming out of retirement and inking a minor league deal with the Sox (91-63) at the beginning of August, Byrd has not had the most enjoyable welcome back party. Since earning a victory his first start back in the majors on Aug. 30, Byrd has yet to produce a quality outing, going 0-2 with a 7.91 ERA in four starts.
Though he faces New York for the first time this season, Byrd owns a 3-5 record with a 4.72 ERA in 11 career starts opposing the Yankees. On the road this year, the Kelsey Grammer lookalike has struggled with a whopping 12.00 ERA and two losses in as many starts.
A day after being humbled for the second straight game in New York, the Red Sox look to salvage their final regular-season matchup against the Bombers. A win would give Boston its first season series win over New York since, coincidentally, 2004.
In yesterday’s 3-0 setback, Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged with the loss despite giving up only one run in seven innings of work. Yankees ace CC Sabathia one-hit the Sox in seven scoreless innings to pick up his 19th win on the season. On the positive side for Boston, catcher Victor Martinez was able to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 25 games with a two-out single in the ninth off closer Mariano Rivera.
The Bombers give the ball to 37-year-old Andy Pettitte (13-7, 4.15) as they attempt the weekend sweep. Skipped in the rotation earlier this month due to fatigue in his left shoulder, Pettitte returned to the mound last Monday against the Angels in Anaheim, where he suffered his first defeat in 10 starts, hurling six innings and giving up three runs.
The veteran lefty is no stranger to the rivalry, holding a 17-9 record with a 3.76 ERA in 33 starts against the Sox. This year, however, in his one outing facing the Sox, Pettitte was hammered, surrendering seven runs (five earned) and lasting only five innings, though he was able to sneak away with a win.
While the magic number to clinch the AL wild card remains at 3 for the Red Sox, Boston did receive good news yesterday when it was determined that Jon Lester sustained only a bruised quadriceps after being struck by a line drive off the bat of Melky Cabrera Friday night. Lester said that he should be able to pitch without missing a turn in the rotation, depending on how he feels.
Paul Byrd vs. Yankees batters
Derek Jeter (37 career plate appearances) .361 AVG, .378 OBP, .500 SLG, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Johnny Damon (29) .250, .276, . 464, 1 home run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Nick Swisher (26) .308, .308, .346, 2 strikeouts
Alex Rodriguez (23) .286, .348, .524, 1 home run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Jorge Posada (22) .200, .273, .300, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Mark Teixeira (19) .263, .263, .579, 1 home run
Robinson Cano (15) .333, .333, .867, 2 home runs, 2 strikeouts
Jerry Hairston (15) .333, .429, .583, 1 home run, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Hideki Matsui (14) .308, .357, .538, 1 home run, 1 walk
Melky Cabrera (12) .300, .333, .600, 1 home run, 1 walk
Eric Hinske (10) 2-for-10, 1 strikeout
Jose Molina (6) 1-for-5
Freddy Guzman (3) 1-for-3, 2 strikeouts
Andy Pettitte vs. Red Sox batters
Jason Varitek (64 career plate appearances) .309 AVG, .391 OBP, .473 SLG, 2 home runs, 8 walks, 16 strikeouts
David Ortiz (55) .375, .418, .563, 1 home run, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (35) .229, .229, .314, 1 strikeout
Kevin Youkilis (35) .333, .486, .586, 1 home run, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts
J.D. Drew (34) .364, .382, .737, 3 home runs, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Jason Bay (33) .414, .485, .586, 1 home run, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Mike Lowell (32) .346, .438, .385, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts
Victor Martinez (18) .200, .278, .200, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Chris Woodward (18) .250, .333, .625, 1 home run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Jacoby Ellsbury (17) .429, .500, .500, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Joey Gathright (9) 1-for-8, 1 walk
Rocco Baldelli (8) 2-for-8, 1 home run, 1 strikeout
Nick Green (7) 4-for-7, 1 strikeout
Jed Lowrie (6) 1-for-5, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Alex Gonzalez (5) 1-for-5, 1 strikeout
Brian Anderson (3) 0-for-2, 1 walk
Casey Kotchman (3) 1-for-3, 1 strikeout
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