CC Sebathia (7-3, 2.80, 1.22 WHIP) battles fellow ace Josh Beckett (4-2, 2.01, 1.03 WHIP)
Yankees 33-26 (17-15 at home)
Derek Jeter SS .261
Curtis Granderson CF .263
Mark Teixeira 1B .258
Alex Rodriguez 3B .278
Robinson Cano 2B .273
Nick Swisher RF .222
Jorge Posada DH .195
Brett Gardner LF .261
Francisco Cervelli C .242
Red Sox 35-26 (16-13 on the road)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF .307
Marco Scutaro 2B .247
Adrian Gonzalez 1B .335
Kevin Youkilis 1B .255
David Ortiz DH .323
Jed Lowrie SS .292
Carl Crawford LF .247
Mike Cameron RF .167
Jason Varitek C .218
CC Sebathia will try to win his fifth consecutive start to help the Yankees avoid getting swept by the Red Sox. In his last four starts he has only allowed seven runs, and has pitched like the ace that he has been during his time in pinstripes.
Beckett allowed more runs in his last start, where he allowed three runs and four hits in six innings, than he had in his previous six starts, so that is a positive sign for the Yankees. He is having an outstanding season, but another factor in the Yankees favor is that for the duration of his career Beckett has a 5.66 ERA, and .277 Batting Average Against when facing the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees need to continue to have solid pitching from the starters because a valuable member of the bullpen will be out for an extended period of time. They will need to find a replacement for him either internally, or via the trade.
Joba Chamberlain has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow, which will require Tommy John surgery from Dr. James Andrews. This will likely end his season. His injury hurts the Yankees because two other pitchers who were supposed to be key members of the bullpen, Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano, are also on the disabled list.
Chamberlain had not allowed a run in his last eight appearances and on the season had a respectable 2.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 12 “holds”.
Cervelli was able to provide a spark for the Yankees, in their loss last night, by going three-for-three, driving in two runs and improving his batting average nearly 70 points in the process. Cervelli commits Hopefully he can continue to spray singles around the field as he replaces the injured Russell Martin. Cervelli’s four errors in only 12 games are too many for a backup catcher, but the pitchers say they like pitching to him so that is reason to keep him around a little longer.
They could also use Curtis Granderson, who is two for his last 24, to bust out of his slump. He has basically been the catalyst of the Yankees offense so far, along with Mark Teixeira, who is one ahead of Granderson with 18 home runs, which leads the team, so it seems like his turn around is imminent.
Also, another note of importance is that Derek Jeter had another hit last night, and is now only 11 hits away from joining the 3,000 hit club. He will become the first Yankee to do so. Jeter has recorded a hit in nine out of his last 10 games, and has had success against Beckett, posting a .292 average over 72 at bats. Hopefully he can get two hits tonight to increase his chances of getting his 3,000th hit during this 10 game home-stand.
With a win tonight, after New York City saw its hottest day so far this year, the Yankees would tie the Red Sox for first place in the American League East. The Yankees also look to snap the Red Sox current five-game winning streak at Yankees Stadium.