Round One came at Fenway Park in early April. The Red Sox were off to a horrible start but took two of three against the Yankees. They lost their next three games, falling to 2-10 to open the season. They’ve since gone 31-16 to quickly move right back into the race.
“They were always a good team,” CC Sabathia said. “I knew all along, I think everybody knew all along, they were going to come out of whatever they were in and start hitting and start playing well. They can get hot any time, and you can get them hot. It is what it is when you’re facing them, kind of like our lineup.”
Round Two came at Yankee Stadium in mid-May. At that point the Yankees were playing some of their worst baseball, and the Red Sox swept a three-game series as part of a six-game Yankees losing streak. The Yankees were in the middle of a 3-10 stretch. They’ve since gone 13-5.
“Right now I think every game’s big,” Nick Swisher said. “Whether it’s a rivalry game or another game, we feel that we’re playing great baseball.”
Round Three comes this week at Yankee Stadium. For the time being, this three-game series will determine first-place in the American League East. It’s hard to make too much of an early June series, but this is Yankees vs. Red Sox. The teams are a game apart in the division, both are playing well and there’s the added spotlight of Derek Jeter chasing 3,000 hits.
“They’re a team we know we’re going to battle against all year long,” Joe Girardi said. “… Guys feeling good about themselves, feeling good about the way they’re throwing the baseball, the way they’re hitting the baseball, I think that’s important.”
Associated Press photo