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Monday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia

04.01.13 at 8:53 am ET
By

Jon Lester

The pitching matchup could be any Red Sox-Yankees Opening Day from the last few years, but nearly everywhere else on the field, baseball’s most famous rivals are in unfamiliar situations as the 2013 season opens.

Jon Lester will get the ball on Opening Day for the third consecutive time, his first chance to redeem himself after posting a 4.82 ERA in 2012. He had a strong spring, with a 0.75 ERA and an 0.50 WHIP to show for it. In 24 innings, he struck out 20 batters and allowed eight hits and four walks.

Opposing Lester will be CC Sabathia, one of the only pieces of the Yankees roster that seems stable as the season begins. Sabathia recorded a 3.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 200 innings last year, the seventh time in his career and the fourth in a row that he’s thrown at least 200 innings.

Sabathia has had some kinks to work out this spring after having surgery in October to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. He pitched 10 innings, given up 14 hits and four walks while posting a 5.40 ERA. He’s said there are no concerns about lingering pain or issues with his elbow.

The team behind him will look very different than it did in October, as Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez all will miss Opening Day. The Yankees will lean on Robinson Cano, who’s heading into the final year of his contract in New York.

Lester might be relieved to avoid facing Jeter, who has a .333 average and a .397 OBP against him in 69 plate appearances. He’s more familiar with Jeter, Rodriguez, Teixeira and Granderson than the players who will take their places, so it’s harder to gauge how he might perform against the lineup he sees. In 13 starts against the Yankees in New York, he’s 7-2.

Last time Lester faced the Yankees, on Oct. 2, the Red Sox fell 4-3 when Raul Ibanez drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Lester went five innings, allowing eight hits and one unearned run.

Sabathia pitched the day before as the Yankees crushed the Sox, 10-2. A nine-run second inning (with Clay Buchholz on the mound) made his job easier, but he still went eight innings, with two earned runs, four hits, a walk and seven strikeouts.

No Red Sox player with a significant number of plate appearances has hit Sabathia particularly well, although David Ross has a pair of home runs and a .308 average against him in 16 PAs.

Red Sox vs. Sabathia (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (42 plate appearances): .243 BA/.333 OBP/.270 SLG, 1 RBI, 1 double, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (32): .214/.281/.357, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 1 double, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (29): .208/.345/.250, 2 RBI, 1 double, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (22): .222/.364/.444, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 double, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

David Ross (16): .308/.375/.769, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (16): .214/.250/.286, 1 RBI, 1 double, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (11): .273/.273/.273, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Pedro Ciriaco (7): .286/.286/.286, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (7): .286/.286/.714, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Mike Carp (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Will Middlebrooks (3): .500/.667/1.000, 1 double, 2 RBI, 1 walk

Jose Iglesias has no hits or walks in three plate appearances against Sabathia.

Yankees vs. Lester (LHP)

Derek Jeter (69 plate appearances): .333/.397/.397, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 double, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts

Robinson Cano (62): .228/.274/.298: 5 RBI, 4 doubles, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts

Mark Teixeira (47): .233/.298/.326, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 double, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts

Alex Rodriguez (46): .214/.283/.524, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts

Vernon Wells (45): .167/.311/.306, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 7 walks, 5 strikeouts

Ichiro Suzuki (37): .306/.324/.472, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Curtis Granderson (36): .281/.361/.500, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 double, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts

Travis Hafner (14): .231/.214/.231, 3 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Brennan Boesch (13): .231/.231/.385, 2 RBI, 1 triple, 4 strikeouts

Eduardo Nunez (9): .250/.333/.250, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Brett Gardner (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout

Francisco Cervelli (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk

Chris Stewart (4): .500/.333/2.000, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Kevin Youkilis (3): .500/.667/2.000, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 walk

Read More: C.C. Sabathia, Jon Lester, New York Yankees,
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