After being scratched from his last start due to back pains, the Boston Red Sox will send Josh Beckett to the mound, a night after the team reacquired a losing record. The New York Yankees will do their best to widen the gap in the AL East, as C.C. Sabathia gets the start.
The New York Yankees took their twentieth win of the season last night from the Boston Red Sox. Boston will send Clay Buchholz to the hill tonight to face C.C. Sabathia to put the Red Sox past the .500 mark.
On a night when the Boston marketing department pulled out all the stops, the players on the field managed to match them every step of the way.
There was no shortage of excitement in this one. From Neil Diamond’s 8th inning appearance to Pedroia’s two-run bomb, this game had everything and more. Even Herb Brooks and Pedro showed up which, early on, seemed to be the only exciting parts of the game.
I, myself, was forced down the street to Buffalo Wild Wings before the game due to a blackout on MLBTV – missing the NESN broadcast – and jotting down game notes on a napkin. Though I try to avoid chain restaurants when watching the Red Sox, it was nice to see the Red Sox Faithful well-represented in Colorado – and just as intolerant as in New England of the crap Yankee fans will try to pull.
Nonetheless, it was a classic, back-and-forth matchup that had plenty of surprises, late heroics, and everything you could want in an Opening Day salvo.
Though cruising through the bottom half of the first inning, Beckett got roughed up early. Noticeably absent was his usual dominating stuff – which should have been an easy holdover from his strong spring. Having difficulty finding the plate and falling behind in the count often, he found himself “Yanked” after just 4.1 IP, walking three while striking out only one. Yielding five earned over his inefficient 94 pitches, the silver lining is that he wasn’t hit as hard as the overall line suggests. Other than two second inning home runs, many of the Yankees’ hits found holes or were just out of the reach of defenders – especially up the middle in the fourth…
And the season begins…
There’s no doubt the bureaucrats “got it right” on this one – pairing the league’s biggest rivals in the 2010 MLB opener. All signs point to a classic, fit with a marquee pitching matchup, palpable hatred on both sides, and the two best teams from the past decade kicking off the new one.
Josh Beckett takes the hill against C.C. Sabathia as the two AL East juggernaughts begin their annual battle for divisional supremacy. Get to your TV at 8:00 pm sharp – or 6 pm if you’re like me in the Mountain Time Zone – and prepare to watch baseball at its finest.
Keys of the Game
Coming off a strong spring, striking out 22 in 19.1 innings while walking just 5, Beckett certainly has the edge over Sabathia, who has looked sluggish in 18.2 IP thus far (15 K, 8 BB). Though spring stats are rarely an indication of long-term success, they are a good indicator of a hurler’s readiness at the season’s onset. If C.C. continues to struggle with his command, he could be in for a long night. Expect Beckett to be sharp as the team gets off to an early lead in the first few innings.
On Saturday night, the Sox-Yanks rivalry added another thrilling match to their dossier.
The game was hotly contested for the first seven innings. The game was scoreless through 5 ½, before the Yankees broke through in the sixth on a Robinson Cano homer to left : NYY 1, BOS 0.
The Yankees added two more on a bloop single with two-outs in the eighth. Wagner placed a fastball on the inside corner, but Damon got just enough on it to bloop it over Pedroia’s head.
The Cy Young Award campaigns are getting real heated this time of year. The baseball media has zeroed in on four prime candidates: Zack Greinke, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, and Felix Hernadez.
Each of these pitchers has a great resume, but Jon Lester has had quite the season. Where does he stack up against the competition?
1) Zack Greinke – 2.14 – 1st in AL
2) Felix Hernandez – 2.45 – 2nd in AL
3) C.C. Sabathia – 3.31 – 6th in AL
4) Jon Lester – 3.33 – 7th in AL
5) Justin Verlander – 3.44 – 9th in AL
The Sox face off against their bitter rivals the New York Yankees in a pivotal three game series in Fenway. An important juncture for the AL East race, this series will determine whether the Sox can climb back in it or if the Yanks wrap it up early.
Game previews, matchups, and Sox news inside…