Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.09).
RED SOX (69-51)
Pitching: RHP Brad Penny (7-7, 5.22).
TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., YES, NESN.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won seven of their last nine and 14 of 17. They are 5-2 on their road trip.
STATE OF THE SOX: Boston has won three straight. The Red Sox were 4-2 on a road trip to Texas and Toronto. Boston is 7-9 in its last 16 games.
THEY MEET AGAIN: The Yankees are 4-8 against Boston after sweeping a four-game series in the Bronx earlier this month.
EVEN UP: The Yankees have scored 93 runs in the 12 games against Boston — and given up 93 runs.
FENWAY FOLLIES: The Yankees have lost seven straight at Fenway Park dating back to the final game of last season. They have been outscored 46-27 in those games. Mike Mussina is the last Yankees pitcher to win here.
THE JETER METER: The Captain is 13 of his last 20, 16 of 29, 22 of 40 and 27 of 66. That’s a mess of hits. Jeter has hit safely in seven straight and has multiple hits in five straight.
SWING AWAY: Jeter has gone 99 plate appearances without a walk. According to Jim Rice, players in his day never did that. They took walks to help the team.
PETTITTE POWER: Andy Pettitte has started two games against Boston this season, allowing only three earned runs over 13 innings. He is 16-9, 3.63 in 34 career appearances against Boston. Pettitte is 6-3, 3.60 in 16 games at Fenway Park, 14 of them starts.
ROUGH PATCH FOR RODRIGUEZ: Alex Rodriguez is 5 of 25 with one RBI in the last seven games with nine strikeouts. He has two home runs in his last 103 at-bats.
NOT SO LUCKY PENNY: Brad Penny threw six scoreless inning against the Yankees on June 11. Penny is 0-3 with a 7.54 ERA in his last four starts, allowing 27 hits (six home runs) and 11 walks over 22.2 innings.
ACE NO MORE: Alfredo Aceves made a spot start against Minnesota on July 9. He has not been especially good since. In 10 relief appearances (18 innings) he has allowed 14 runs on 19 hits including three home runs.
SINCE THE BREAK: The Yankees are 25-8 and the Red Sox 15-17.
BET THAT STREAK ENDS: The Yankees have played seven straight games in three hours or less.
POWER OUTAGE: The Yankees have one home run in the last three games and two in the last four.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Keep The Line Movin’ by The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Cool Swedish band. Yes, Swedish.
Back with much, much more later.
UPDATE, 3:48 p.m.: Jeter on Rice’s comments: “I didn’t know I was like that. That’s a first for me.”
Jeter said he had never met Rice other than to say hello.
UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: Damaso Marte has a locker here. Guess he’s getting activated.
UPDATE, 4:06 p.m.: Marte is in fact here. Could be bad news for Ramiro Pena.
UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Pena optioned.
UPDATE, 6:06 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game press conference:
UPDATE, 6:59 p.m.: Here is Girardi on Jim Rice:
“I’ve always been one that feels you shouldn’t judge others. Our job is to really take care of who you are as an individual and try and to make yourself a better individual,” he said. “My feeling is you shouldn’t judge others and I’m not really going to comment on his comments. … I don’t really want to get into it.”
It’s understandable that Girardi doesn’t want to pick a fight with a Boston icon. But he should have come to the defense of his players.
UPDATE, 7:01 p.m.: We’re nearly ready to get underway here. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 7:42 p.m.: Third hitter of the inning and Pettitte has thrown 20 pitches. This is not how a starter wants to handle a 2-0 lead.
UPDATE, 7:53 p.m.: Jim Rice is right. All the selfish, greedy Derek Jeter does is get hits to help his team.
Meanwhile, Jeter is an insane 18 of his last 31.
UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Brady Penny is not long for this tilt.
UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: Wow, 5-1 already. Newly arrived Michael Bowden warming up. Penny is reeling like a drunken frat boy on Commonwealth Ave.
UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: 6-1 as A-Rod singles to left and is thrown out at second. Obviously it’s because of his hip but A-Rod runs about half as well as he used to.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: The Yankees didn’t draw first blood, they went all chainsaw in the shower on the Red Sox. Holy cow.
UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: Damon, according to the Yankees, had a bruised right knee. I’m fairly sure I could have made that prognosis from up here. No tests are planned and he’s day-to-day.
UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: Not smart baseball there by Pedroia. That selfish Jeter went out to play the ball off the wall and threw him out at third to end the inning.
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Jeter is 15 of his last 22 (.682) as he comes to the plate in the third inning.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: Penny booed off the field. Yankees 6-1 and threatening for more.
And now we go to a new thread …