|BOSTON ( MATSUZAKA )|
NY YANKEES ( KURODA )
|975||BOSTON||+260||Ov 9,+100||+265||Ov 9,+100|
|976||NY YANKEES||-320||Un 9,-120||-330||Un 9,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||43-66||-33.4||51-54||4.4||0.259||0.311||5.1||0.267||0.333|
|Past 7 Games||0-7||-7||2-4||2.3||0.172||0.225||6.0||0.306||0.361|
|vs Right-handed Starters||57-43||-2.6||37-58||4.6||0.262||0.324||4.0||0.252||0.307|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+1.9||4-3||6.3||0.314||0.385||3.7||0.242||0.308|
|9/19/2012||MATSUZAKA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||3-13||L||175||8.5 un||O||5||4||2||15||10||0|
|9/20/2012||BUCHHOLZ(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||4-7||L||195||7 un||O||10||7||1||10||6||1|
|9/25/2012||BUCHHOLZ(R)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||2-5||L||+150||8 ev||U||7||3||1||11||8||1|
|9/26/2012||LESTER(L)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||2-4||L||+120||9 un||U||4||6||0||8||5||0|
|9/28/2012||COOK(R)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)||1-9||L||175||9 un||O||1||2||1||12||5||2|
|9/29/2012||DOUBRONT(L)||@ BALTIMORE||JOHNSON(R)||3-4||L||170||8.5 ev||U||5||3||1||7||5||1|
|9/30/2012||STEWART(R)||@ BALTIMORE||SAUNDERS(L)||3-6||L||185||9 un||P||9||3||0||9||4||0|
|10/1/2012||BUCHHOLZ(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||2-10||L||240||8 un||O||4||3||0||13||7||0|
|10/2/2012||LESTER(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PHELPS(R)||3-4||L||170||8.5 un||U||8||9||1||16||14||0|
|10/3/2012||MATSUZAKA(R)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)|| |
|9/24/2012||PETTITTE(L)||@ MINNESOTA||HENDRIKS(R)||6-3||W||-165||9 ov||P||10||6||0||10||6||0|
|9/25/2012||HUGHES(R)||@ MINNESOTA||VASQUEZ(R)||4-5||L||-190||9 ov||P||9||5||0||8||5||0|
|9/26/2012||SABATHIA(L)||@ MINNESOTA||DEDUNO(R)||8-2||W||-235||7.5 un||O||11||6||0||7||6||0|
|9/27/2012||NOVA(R)||@ TORONTO||MORROW(R)||0-6||L||-130||9 un||U||5||7||0||10||6||0|
|9/28/2012||KURODA(R)||@ TORONTO||JENKINS(R)||11-4||W||-185||9 ev||O||13||8||0||12||11||1|
|9/29/2012||PETTITTE(L)||@ TORONTO||ROMERO(L)||2-3||L||-180||8.5 un||U||9||10||0||7||6||2|
|9/30/2012||HUGHES(R)||@ TORONTO||ALVAREZ(R)||9-6||W||-160||9 un||O||15||9||0||10||8||1|
|BOSTON: HITTING: OF JACOBY ELLSBURY's 2011 breakout was no fluke. He has real power to complement his elite speed. 2B DUSTIN PEDROIA bounced back from a slow start to finish with career highs in HR and RBI. He benefits from hitting behind Ellsbury. 3B KEVIN YOUKILIS is a huge injury risk. His best seasons are behind him. 1B ADRIAN GONZALEZ wasted no time winning over Boston fans last year, and should hit even more HR in 2012. DH DAVID ORTIZ has put together two straight impressive years after being left for dead in 2009. 2011 Super Bust OF CARL CRAWFORD will bounce back, just not as much as most experts think. Most of the catcher duties will go to C JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA, with C KELLY SHOPPACH getting ABs against lefties. Right field will be filled by former Giants playoff hero CODY ROSS. SS NICK PUNTO replaces Marco Scutaro, who is now in Colorado. 3B MIKE AVILES is a solid hitter with the defensive flexibility to end up with semi-regular ABs. |
STARTING PITCHING: JON LESTER seems to have leveled off as a very good pitcher instead of ascending into an elite class. He lost some speed on his pitches and got hit a little harder in 2011. Coming off the best season of his up-and-down career, JOSH BECKETT's numbers are bound to regress a bit in 2012. Back problems limited CLAY BUCHHOLZ last season, and he lost some of the zip on his fastball. He'll tally a low ERA and 15+ wins if he can stay healthy. ALFREDO ACEVES was outstanding out of the bullpen last year, and will compete for a rotation spot this year. He was a starter for years in the Mexican League and the minors. Former setup man DANIEL BARD is being converted to a starter, but he may wind up back in the bullpen later on. After Tommy John surgeries, DAISUKE MATSUZAKA is due to return around July, while JOHN LACKEY won't be back until 2013.
RELIEF PITCHING: ANDREW BAILEY was a acquired from Oakland in December for a heap of prospects. He's one of the best closers in baseball, and may even be an upgrade from departed Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth. Time will tell how he'll handle the increased scrutiny of playing in Boston. Coming over in a trade for infielder Jed Lowrie, MARK MELANCON was excellent as a closer last season in Houston and should be Bailey's main set-up man in the eighth inning. BOBBY JENKS has ninth-inning experience, but he will be out at least two months coming off a pulmonary embolism.
|NY YANKEES: HITTING: Despite his decline from mediocrity into downright counter-productivity, SS DEREK JETER gets to hit atop the best lineup in baseball. Off an MVP-caliber season, OF CURTIS GRANDERSON is a true star. His average is mediocre, but his power is elite and the Yankees are letting him run when on base. After two years with a sub-.260 average, 1B MARK TEIXEIRA's talent seems to be fading. He still puts up huge power numbers playing in a bandbox. Coming off knee and thumb injuries, 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ is a serious injury risk hitting in the middle of this lineup. 2B ROBINSON CANO will once again see as many RBI chances as anyone. He's been great in those situations the past two seasons. OFs NICK SWISHER and BRETT GARDNER offer power and SBs, respectively, though the Yankees may look to upgrade if they continue to post lackluster numbers. C RUSSELL MARTIN will get plenty of playing time now that Jesus Montero is in Seattle. Veteran slugger RAUL IBANEZ is the new DH in town, and will love hitting towards the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium. |
STARTING PITCHING: CC SABATHIA struggled late last year and has logged a ridiculous number of innings over the past five years. He's a top-10 starter in the majors, but is starting to pass his prime. Newcomers HIROKI KURODA and MICHAEL PINEDA will both stabilize what was a shaky rotation last year. Kuroda, 37, posted a 3.07 ERA with the Dodgers and the 23-year-old Pineda has unlimited upside, fanning 173 batters in 171 innings with Seattle last season. IVAN NOVA benefitted from nearly nine runs of support per game. He keeps the ball down often enough to thrive in the Bronx, just without many strikeouts. PHIL HUGHES' stuff has regressed greatly since his days as a top prospect. He's trying to overcome conditioning problems this offseason. MANNY BANUELOS and DELLIN BETANCES are great prospects who may get a chance to start MLB games later this season.
RELIEF PITCHING: Trust MARIANO RIVERA to stay dominant until proven wrong. He was better in 2011 than he was in 2010 despite some velocity slippage. DAVID ROBERTSON has a firm hold on eighth-inning duties after an All-Star season. He's second in line for saves. RAFAEL SORIANO wasn't a total bust, as he did just fine after a rough April. He's settled into the seventh-inning role since Robertson is more trusted that he is. After Tommy John surgery, JOBA CHAMBERLAIN is aiming to be back this June. Middle reliever CORY WADE was reliable last year, and has a chance to rack up some vulture wins if he keeps going strong.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (BOSTON-NY YANKEES) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Red Sox-Yankees Preview* =========================
By MIKE LIPKA STATS Editor
Boston (69-91) at New York (93-67), 7:05 p.m. EDT
The regular season isn't over, but the October drama at Yankee Stadium has already begun.
With another victory Wednesday night, the New York Yankees will enter the playoffs as AL East champions.
The Yankees can clinch their 12th division title in 15 years if they complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox in the potential finale of the embattled Boston tenures for both manager Bobby Valentine and right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Hiroki Kuroda takes the ball opposite his Japanese countryman with New York (94-67) one game ahead of Baltimore through 161 contests. If the Yankees lose and the Orioles win at Tampa Bay, the teams would meet in a one-game playoff Thursday in Baltimore, with the loser of that game forced to put its season on the line Friday in a wild-card playoff.
New York would much prefer to go straight through to a division series with the AL's best record, which it would also secure with a victory.
"If you win, you win the division. That's the bottom line," manager Joe Girardi said. "And we have the chance to have the best record, and that's the bottom line and that's a good feeling that you can control that."
Raul Ibanez put the Yankees in position for those feats with a pair of timely hits Tuesday. He delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth inning to tie the game, then gave New York a 4-3 win with an RBI single in the 12th.
"We stuck together. We stayed after them, and we were able to pull it out," Ibanez said. "It's crunch time for us, and we all know that."
The Yankees have won nine of 10 at home, and they've taken four straight against Boston to improve to 12-5 in the season series.
There may not be a more fitting way for the Red Sox to finish their disastrous campaign than by watching their archrivals celebrate a division title.
Boston (69-92) is already assured of a last-place finish and its worst record since 1965, with many expecting the struggles to cost Valentine his job after only one season.
"We didn't start the season to finish fifth ... or fourth, or third, or second ...," said Valentine, who has one year left on his contract.
Matsuzaka's six-year, $52 million deal - signed after the Red Sox paid a $51.1 million posting fee to bring him over from Japan - is due to expire, and he almost certainly won't be back.
His first two years in Boston were promising, but the last four have been marred by injuries and woeful results. He's 17-21 with a 5.42 ERA in 55 games since the start of 2009.
Matsuzaka (1-6, 7.68 ERA) seems an especially inviting adversary for the Yankees after going 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in four September starts, with opponents batting .400. He hasn't pitched since Sept. 19 and hasn't faced the Yankees since 2010.
"It's been really hard to keep the positive going, so far," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "As always I'm disappointed in myself for not helping my team out."
Kuroda (15-11, 3.34) turned out to be a much better acquisition for the Yankees, although he has not been at his best lately. Since his ERA dipped to 2.96 in August, the right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.73 ERA in seven starts.
He won Friday at Toronto but allowed 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He's surrendered only 11 hits and three runs over 16 innings in two home starts against Boston this year.
|Last Updated: 9/16/2014 8:25:50 PM EST|