Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.89).
RED SOX (62-45)
Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (13-4, 3.27).
TIME/TV: 7:05 / YES.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The game post will be divided up tonight in the interest of making it easier to people to read. My plan is to have at least two (or three) posts during the game and hopefully the in-game conversation will flow from one post over to the next.
We did this last night and it seemed to work out well for everybody. So whenever a new post does pop up, please make that where you post your comments. Thanks.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won four straight and are 24 games over .500 for the first time this season. They lead Boston by 3.5 games, matching their largest lead. Boston has lost three in a row.
ON A LONG ROLL: The Yankees have won 15 of 20, 28 of 38 and 51 of 76.
50,000 COMING?: The Yankees drew 49,005 last night, the largest crowd in the short history of the new park. With this being a Friday night, the weather perfect and a great pitching matchup, might tonight surpass that?
MELKY’S POWER: Melky Cabrera has 11 homers, his career best.
BEEN BURNED: A.J. Burnett has been hit hard by Boston, giving up 11 earned runs on 13 hits and eight walks over 7.2 innings in two starts. He had been 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox previously.
BAD MAN ON THE BUMP: Josh Beckett is 10-2, 2.02 in his last 14 starts. He is 2-0, 5.82 in two games against the Yankees this season. This link has how the Yankees have fared against Beckett individually. They have done pretty well.
WELL? WE’RE WAITING: Alex Rodriguez has gone 66 at-bats without a home run, his longest streak since a 77-AB drought that started in 1997 and ended in 1998.
RED SOX ROAD WOES: Boston is 27-28 on the road, having lost nine of its last 14 away from Fenway Park.
That’s it for now. Back with more later.
UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.: Ramiro Pena here.
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: Anthony Claggett optioned to Scranton.
UPDATE, 4:05 p.m.: Chad Gaudin joins the team Sunday. They will take a pitcher off the roster then.
UPDATE, 4:43 p.m.: Boston DFA’d John Smoltz and Billy Traber. RHP Junichi Tazawa here and INF Chris Woodward claimed off waivers from Seattle.
UPDATE, 7:00 p.m.: If there has been a more perfect night for baseball than this, I haven’t seen it. Great night for a game. Hope you’re here. If not, enjoy it at home. Updates here all night long.
UPDATE, 7:08 p.m.: A.J. warmed up to the theme music from 300. Good stuff.
7:09 p.m.: We are underway. 75 degrees at first pitch.
UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: With a runner on third and two outs, the Yankees pitched around Youkilis to get to Ortiz and he grounded into the teeth of the shift as Cano was standing in shallow right field. Cano bobbled the ball and still threw Ortiz out. Big Papi is a shell of what he used to be.
You’re watching the remnants of the Steroids Era every day. Ortiz is a groundball machine. A-Rod has gone 18 days without a homer, etc. It’s why so many GMs did not want to shed prospects at the trade deadline. The value of young players has climbed in the last two years because the assumption is they know how to play clean and you have to question any veteran.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: A.J. at 27 pitches after two innings. Economical for him.
UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: 10-pitch AB for Swisher. Yankees in business against Becket: first and second, nobody out. You bunt here? I think so. Couple runs in this game could be big.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: I don’t get it. Girardi bunts all year and now he doesn’t. 4-6-3 for Melky.