I just got on a train a few minutes ago, and it feels strange to be going to Boston under these circumstances, wondering whether it’s possible for the Yankees to overlook a series against the Red Sox after such an important series against the Orioles.
“I think the Red Sox being the Red Sox helps, actually,” Joe Girardi said. “I think a day off helps, too. Guys get to kind of turn their minds off for a day and then they’ll turn it back on (tonight).”
This is the Yankees final trip to Fenway Park this season. The Red Sox come back to the Bronx at the very end of the season. It’s well understood that Boston is playing out the string, trying to salvage some sort of moral victory in a season that’s been a complete loss (their biggest victory was a salary dump trade).
But the Red Sox are the Red Sox.
“Always, always,” Derek Jeter said. “It doesn’t make a difference. These guys want to win, and when they compete, they want to win. I would expect it to be a very tough series for us.”
It will be interesting to see what the Yankees do with their pitching staff, whether they give Ivan Nova a start or put Joba Chamberlain in some high-leverage situations. It will be interesting to see whether Alex Rodriguez keeps hitting or Nick Swisher starts hitting again. Mostly, though, it will be interesting to watch the Yankees play their biggest rivals in a series that — just like those series in Tampa Bay and Baltimore — could knock the Yankees out of first place in the division if they don’t play well.
“Definitely doesn’t get any easier going to Boston,” Curtis Granderson said. “Then we’ve got Tampa coming back (to New York). Kind of the way everyone wants it to shape up: Play the teams in your division. Control your own destiny. That’s pretty much what we get a chance to do.”
Also, it goes without saying that our thoughts are with a lot of lost friends, family and strangers today. Go hug someone you love.
Associated Press photo