Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (14-7, 3.58).
RED SOX (70-52)
Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (14-4, 3.38).
TIME/TV: 8:05 p.m., ESPN.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees are seeking the series victory after winning 20-11 on Friday and losing 14-1 yesterday. They have won eight of 11 but are 3-3 in their last six games.
STATE OF THE RIVALRY: The Yankees are 5-9 against the Red Sox this season with four games left in the season series. Boston has outscored New York 118-114.
MILESTONE WATCH: Derek Jeter is one hit away from 2,700 for his career. He is 16 of his last 29. He is 19 of 38 on the road trip with eight RBI and eight runs scored.
CC WATCH: Sabathia is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA in his last four starts. Over 30.2 innings, he has allowed 20 hits and five walks while striking out 31.
Sabathia is 1-1, 2.45 against the Red Sox this season.
MR. AUGUST: Sabathia is 32-9 with a 3.14 in August in his career.
BECKETT BLASTS: Josh Beckett is 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA in four starts against the Yankees this season.
RED SOX RAPS: Boston has 20 home runs in their last eight games.
PAPI POUNDING: David Ortiz has five home runs in his last eight games. Boston is 18-2 when he hits a home run. Must be the vitamins and supplements.
SWISHALICIOUS: Nick Swisher has 18 of his 21 home runs on the road. … Swisher has hit in eight straight games (12 of 36) with five runs scored, seven RBI and seven extra-base hits.
SLOPPY PENMANSHIP: Yankee relievers the last two games: 7 innings, 11 hits, 9 earned runs, 3 home runs.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: From A Whisper To A Scream by Elvis Costello and Glenn Tilbrook.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 5:43 p.m: Raining here and tarp down. We’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE, 6:24 p.m.: Here’s what the always professional and classy Jonathan Papelbon told WEEI.com yesterday about the idea of the Red Sox obtaining Billy Wagner:
“What has he done? Has he pitched this year? Is he ready to pitch or is he not? … I think our bullpen is good where we’re at right now. Don’t get me wrong. But I guess you could always make it better. It’s kind of like the (Eric) Gagne thing, I guess.”
Gagne had a 6.75 ERA in 20 games for Boston in 2007.
Here is what Wagner said today: “I dont have anything to say about somebody like that.”
Let us pause here to fervently hope that the Red Sox trade for Wagner.
UPDATE, 6:31 p.m.: The tarp remains down but the skies are clearing over Fenway.
UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: Here is the audio of Joe Girardi’s longest pre-game press conference ever. The skipper got a little fired up trying to defuse the Burnett-Posada thing, which probably means there actually is a thing.
I’m not as enraptured by this story as others — although I do agree there is a story there. Burnett is erratic, excitable and relies on a ton of natural ability. Posada is a strong-willed guy who had a lot of success in career and probably figures he knows what he’s doing. There are bound to be conflicts and yesterday was pretty ugly.
Burnett has been better than most expected he would be given his history and he has pitched very well to Posada since the middle of June with yesterday being the exception.
Bottom line (to steal Derek Jeter’s line): It’s up to the pitcher to throw the pitch he wants.
UPDATE, 6:56 p.m.: The tarp is coming off. Should start on time. ESPN had their squadron of fighter jets shoot rain repellent into the clouds. It was quite a scene.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: We’re underway and just like that, it’s 1-0 as Jeter drills one into the bullpen.
Nice night in Boston as it turns out. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 8:11 p.m.: Thats 2,700 hits for The Captain. Also his 21st leadoff homer.
UPDATE, 8:28 p.m.: Two innings, two home runs on the first pitch for the Yankees. That darn Jason Varitek, he must be screwing up Josh Beckett.
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: What the heck was Johnny Damon doing there, flinging himself against the wall on a ball that was high of it?
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: And Boston gets going as Baldelli singles in Lowell. 2-1 Yankees. The big duel of aces might not transpire at this pace.
UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: No duel to see here. It’s 2-2 in the second and we’ve already had five hits, four for extra bases.
UPDATE, 8:48 p.m.: Jeter is 18 of his last 31 and 21 of 40 on the road trip.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: The pitcher’s duel continues unabated. Yankees 3-2 as Beckett is getting hammered. Five hits in three innings, three extras.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: Brutal play by Cano there and it costs CC a run. Credit to Bay for running it out. Shouldn’t that be Tex’s ball? But Cano called him off.
That’s two errors today for Cano. Just when you think he has started to get the whole idea of playing hard and smart all the time, he reminds you that he doesn’t.
UPDATE, 9:56 p.m.: A-Rod’s last three homers have been against Boston. … Beckett has allowed seven blasts in his last two starts. He has given up at least one run in 10 consecutive innings.
UPDATE, 10:02 p.m.: Starting another post now.