More than 100 games into the season, the Yankees and Red Sox are tied in the American League East. Head-to-head, though, the season series remains lopsided.
The Red Sox have won eight. The Yankees have won one.
“How do I explain it?” Derek Jeter said. “Pretty simple. They’ve played better than us. If you’re playing a good team like Boston has, and you don’t play well, they’re going to beat you. They’ve played well against us and we haven’t played well. Is it surprising? It’s not surprising because they did better than us. It’s like two years ago when we started out poorly and everyone said it was a problem and then it flipped. In baseball sometimes you can’t explain it.”
The Yankees have a chance to flip it this weekend. A three-game series in Boston will — for now — determine control of the American League East. The two teams are tied now. They won’t be tied on Monday. While the Yankees packed their things last night, they seemed to know they were heading for a showdown. They also knew they were playing well heading into the biggest series of the season so far.
Joe Girardi — “There were some times we were playing pretty decent going to face them, but I think we’re different. I think our guys are playing really well right now. I think things have kind of settled down on the injury front. We’re getting Alex back soon. Our rotation has been good. There were a lot of questions about our rotation, how long guys could do it. They’ve continued to do it, so the questions aren’t asked quite as much. Some younger players have more confidence. Gardy’s playing better now. I think we’re a little different.”
Mark Teixeira – “I think it’s fitting. We’re supposed to be batting with these guys, we knew it was going to be a tough year in our division and it’s proved to be that. They’re a great team, we’re playing well right now, so it’s going to be a fun series.”
CC Sabathia – “I think we want to win the division. That’s always the goal. The wild card would be nice to get into the playoffs, but the No. 1 goal is always to win the division… I think we’ve been playing good. No matter what happens over the weekend, we’ve still got to keep going out and playing hard, try to hold it down until Alex gets back and we’re all the way healthy.”
Russell Martin – “It’s good (to get a sweep) going into anywhere, especially going in to play a tough team. We’re not really going to change anything with who we’re playing. We’re playing our baseball, competing every day, and we know it’s going to be a tough series over in Boston. They’ve got a tough team. The team that plays the best is going to win, so we’ll see.”
Nick Swisher – “There’s two months left to play. Every time these teams get together, it’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be intense, for sure. You don’t have to get up for those games, because you’re already up for those. Right now, our season is completely turned around and we’re playing some great baseball. Right now would be the time that we would want to catch those guys.”
Derek Jeter — “In the first two weeks of the season everyone was saying Boston’s season was over. No team in history had ever – what was it? – made the playoffs after being 2-10. You play the games and you see what happens. They have a good team. I told you at the time when they were 2-10 that they had a good team. So we need to play well. If we play well, then I like our chances, but you have to play well. The better teams that you play, the better you have to play.”
Associated Press photos