Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.35).
RED SOX (62-47)
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.79).
TIME/TV: 8:05, ESPN.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won six straight, 17 of 22 and 30 of 40. They lead the Red Sox by 5.5 games in the American League East. It’s their largest lead in the division since they finished the end of the 2006 season with a 10-game lead.
STUMBLIN’ SOX: Boston has lost five straight and 13 of 20.
ANDY’S DANDY: Andy Pettitte is 1-1 with a 2.36 ERA since the All-Star break. He has allowed seven earned runs on 20 hits in 26.2 innings while striking out 29. Pettitte is 16-9, 3.76 in 31 career starts against Boston. He allowed three runs in six innings against Boston on April 26 in a loss.
HOME COOKING: The Yankees have won 12 of their last 13 games at home and 17 of the last 20.
START ME UP: Yankee starters in this series have gone 20.1 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out 20 and walking 15.
INITIALLY, VERY IMPRESSIVE: A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia allowed three hits and struck out 15 over 15.1 innings in the last two games.
BULLPEN BRIEF: Yankee relievers have allowed five hits and struck out 10 in 8.2 scoreless innings in the series.
IN A DROUGHT: The Red Sox have not scored in 24 innings. They have two runs in the last 28, six in the last 33 and 12 in the last 55. Boston is 16 of 111 (.144) in the last three games with 35 strikeouts. That includes going 3 for 33 with runners in scoring position.
MO MONEY: Mariano Rivera has not allowed a run in his last 20.1 innings.
HOMER HAPPY: The Yankees have homered in 86 of 110 games, 51 of the 55 at home.
HIUUUUUUUUUUGHES: Phil Hughes has allowed 5 earned runs in 31 innings of relief and struck out 40.
THE CANO CONUNDRUM: Robbie Cano is 111 of 308 (.360) without runners in scoring position. He is 27 of 132 (.205) when there are runners in scoring position.
HOT LATELY: Cano is 11 of his last 22.
LAST YEAR: The Yankees were 60-50 and 5.5 games out at this point last season.
MELKY MISSING: Melky Cabrera is 3 of 21 since he hit for the cycle in Chicago.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Live With Me by The Rolling Stones with Christina Aguilera. From the Shine A Light soundtrack. Great performance.
Back later on with much more.
UPDATE, 5:07 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves has a sore back and is questionable for tonight. … RHP Chad Gaudin on the roster and RHP Josh Towers DFA’d.
UPDATE, 5:59 p.m.: David Ortiz getting a day off, odd in that he is a .370 hitter against Pettitte. … Jason Bay (right hamstring) is playing for the first time in the series. … Boston called up Fernando Cabrera, a right-handed reliever. He replaces Enrique Gonzalez. … The Red Sox may have made a waiver claim on Nationals SS Christian Guzman.
UPDATE, 6:06 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game interview session:
He talked mostly about pitching, the No. 5 spot, A-Rod, etc.
UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: The Red Sox closed the clubhouse for a team meeting, which is going on now. The last refuge of the desperate manager is the team meeting.
UPDATE, 7:07 p.m.: Some very light rain falling here. Tarp is not down, however. The Sox are taking BP.
UPDATE, 8:05 p.m.: The scoreboard camera is showing the Yankees in the dugout. Fun to watch them as they get ready to take the field.
Intense: Swisher, Posada, Jeter.
Goofing around: Melky, Robbie and Joba.
1,000-yard stare: Andy.
Putting in a big dip: A.J.
Putting in nearly as big a dip: CC.
Andy now warming up to Welcome to the Jungle. Good warm-up song. GNR does warm-up tunes well.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: We’re underway. 77 degrees in the Boogie Down. Enjoy the game, everybody.
UPDATE, 8:21 p.m.: Seems safe to say the decision to bat Jeter leadoff worked pretty well, huh? He has a .383 OBP and has scored 72 runs already.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: That’s 26 innings without a run for Boston. Not that anybody is counting.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: Yankees will have to earn this one. Jon Lester showed up with his good stuff.
UPDATE, 9:27 p.m.: The Yankees have twice pitched around Lowell to get to Varitek. Andy fanned him the first time but Varitek hit a hard line drive the second time … right to Johnny Damon for the third out.
28 innings without a run for Boston. Unbelievable. The Red Sox are 20 of 126 (.159) in the series. They have 12 runs in the last 59 innings overall.
UPDATE, 10:00 p.m.: Andrew Eugene Pettitte, you old dog. He has blanked the Sox for six innings tonight and has allowed a mere seven earned runs in 32.2 innings since the All-Star Break.
UPDATE, 10:15 p.m.: Swish looking for style points with the catch and roll.
UPDATE, 10:18 p.m.: New thread has started.