Monday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia
|04.01.13 at 8:53 am ET|
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
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