Every game between the Yankees and Red Sox seems to be about the bigger picture. It’s about the rivalry, and it’s about the division standings, and it’s about trying to win another championship. Winning is the only thing matters in these matchups.
Looking for a smaller picture, though, this game has a lot to do with Phil Hughes.
After last year’s breakout season, Hughes opened this season with a sloppy start at Yankee Stadium. His velocity wasn’t quite as high as expected, his command wasn’t especially good and he lasted only four innings against the Tigers.
“He struggled his last start, there’s no secret about that,” Joe Girardi said. “Just get him back on track… Command (is the key). Just getting on track and getting to where he was throwing the ball like he was last year.”
Hughes has said he felt good in his between-starts bullpen sessions. That’s a positive sign, but it doesn’t mean much if he can’t take it to the mound this afternoon.
“I think it gives you a good feeling going into the start,” Girardi said. “When you feel good and you feel like you’re able to do your work and do it well in between, I think it gives you a confidence going into the start. But once the game starts, you have to make those pitches.”
• The fact the Red Sox have yet to win a game doesn’t mean much to the Yankees. “There’s only 156 games to go. I’m not really looking at whole a lot of things except how we’re doing,” Girardi said.
• Girardi wouldn’t commit to using his regulars in every game this series, but clearly the rain out gave everyone a bit of a breather and seemingly gave the Yankees the option of using everyone all weekend. Girardi was planning to use that rained out game to rest some guys anyway. “You want to be able to play your regulars, and it just kind of worked out,” Girardi said. “That was the day you could split it up.”
• This will be the Yankees first regular-season look at the new Red Sox lineup. “I don’t think Crawford’s really going to change a whole lot from last year to this year except he’s in a different uniform,” Girardi said. “We know what type of player he is. As far as Adrian Gonzalez — who hits the ball extremely well the other way – this park should play right into a lot of his strengths, and you would expect that he would be a very productive player over here.”
• Jorge Posada is one hit away from tying Phil Rizzuto for 14th place on the Yankees all-time hits list. He’s eight runs from tying Rizzuto for 17th on the team’s all-time runs scored list.
• Nick Swisher has 499 RBI, one away from reaching 500 for his career.
• The Red Sox added two pitchers before today’s game. As expected, Alfredo Aceves was called up to replace Matt Albers. The team also activated lefty Felix Doubront from the disabled list and designated Dennys Reyes for assignment. Reyes allowed four runs in 1.2 innings for Boston.
Carl Crawford LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
David Ortiz DH
J.D. Drew RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Marco Scutaro SS
Associated Press photo