Thursday, August 6, 2009
Yes, it is the dog days of summer and football is just around the corner. But for baseball fans, it certainly is Christmas in August. MLB has some great division races going on right now. And even better for baseball, pretty much every major market team is represented.
But of course nothing beats the rivalry of the Red Sox/Yankees which is restored with a 4 game series starting in the Bronx tonight.
We all know the Sox have owned the Yanks this year, with Boston winning all 8 meetings this season. That's all fine and dandy, but it's the Bronx Bombers who have a 2 1/2 lead on the Sox. Boston has outscored the Yankees 55-31 in those 8 meetings. There were two games that New York probably should have, could have won. Imagine if the Yankees had won 2 games against Boston. The Yankees would be up 6 1/2 games. If the teams had split the 8 games, the Yanks would have a 10 1/2! game lead on Boston.
One thing Joe Torre did right was knowing the importance winning games against opponents you're next to in the standings. Torre said it best by basically saying when you win one of these games, it's a two game shift in the standings.
So now don't think these games don't matter. But at the same time, New York has yet to beat Boston once and yet here they are in August ahead of the Red Sox.
Obviously a lot has changed since these two teams last met, which was June 11. For one, Jason Bay was considered the AL MVP and batting .277. That talked has died and Bay has gone back to his Pittsburgh Pirates' roots currently batting .252. Oh, and now the Red Sox are the latest franchise to have the dark steroid cloud hovering above.
The Yankees have all the confidence and momentum going into this series. Not only are they home, but they have their 4 studs set up to start all 4 games. Joba Chamberlain starts tonight. If the Yanks can win tonight, they can probably take 3 games this weekend.
Back in the middle of June, New York dropped 2 of 3 at home to the Washington Nationals. They lost the series finale 3-0. They scored 7 total runs in three games vs. the Nats. At home! In Coors Field East!
Since that loss, the Yankees have gone 28-13.
Remember Boston's epic meltdown against Baltimore back on June 30? The Red Sox blew a 10-1 lead! to the Orioles, losing 11-10. Since that horrific loss, Boston is 15-14.
Starting tonight, the Yankees can put a choke hold on the division and leave Boston to battle for the Wild card.