The AL East’s bragging rights are up for grabs, along with first place, which is huge in all aspects but for the these two franchises it means much more.
It is not because the Bombers have to play catch up, as the team is in first by two and a half games. First place is definitely a place that New York wants to continue to be in.
Realistically the division can be won, without the need to win one game against Boston to accomplish this. So why not just take every game as just another game?
Well it is pretty simple, the Yankees or the Red Sox would never feel like the champs if either team could not beat their biggest rivals,each other.
Embarrassing, to say the least. The history between the two teams is at a point where what was once a Yankees universe has become a Red Sox nations. Boston had become the paramount of baseball and that was six years ago. Boston still has yet to be de-throned.
In 2003 the AL Championship series was well overdue for Boston. Winning the World Series for the first time in a longtime, since 1918 and once again in 2006 cemented the Red Sox as the elite in Major Leagues.
The rug got yanked right from under the Yankees. It happened fast. The Yanks were so stunned, that finally this year the shock has worn off and the team is furious.
Furiously hungry to get back the bragging rights in the biggest rivalry in all sports and of all time.
This is the best baseball to watch and the fans are fortunate to finally have it back.
Just in case the Yankees forget what they need to do, here is a short list:
play good and tough small ball – steal bases; generate long at bats; don’t leave guys on base
hitters’ have to go with ‘just get a single‘ mentality instead of trying to go yard, no matter the score; games that are as tough as this trying to be the hero hurts more than it helps
put up runs early-on so the pressure of playing catch-up stays minimal; the come-back, walk-offs are so satisfying but a equally exhausting so consistency is key
Joba has gotta give us a fourth start that mirror the last three by going deep into the game; sets the tone of the series; Joba is utilizing more of his unfamiliar pitches which is key for him and his fastball gains speed as inning pile that is proof this kid is backing up the hype (finally); Hughes in NOT available tonight which could play be disaster if two or three innings need to get filled by the bullpen
Mo is well rested and presume that he will go in in the bottom of the eighth with two outs – his maximum workload being four outs
give Arod full green light to steal because that is why he is so lethal as most hitters with Arod-like stats cannot run like the third baseman
defense cannot make errors as Boston will take advantage
The Yankees are the same team that Boston has taken the first eight games away from. It is Boston that is not the same team. The only thing that changes about the Yanks is their confidence seems to melt when Varitek and company are around.
The Red Sox have been struggling since coming back from the All-Star break. Please keep in mind that this is baseball and the team is the Red Sox I am referring too.
Teams get hot and then freeze just as fast y
ou might have blinked and missed it. It happens to every team, each season because it is so long and so much baseball gets played. And Boston getting hot is going to happen again, the club is too good to fall without a fight.
On paper the stats and records against other teams may enough for the title of ‘won the championship’ or ‘first place in division’ to headline newspapers and Sportscenter. This is not going to fly for the Yankees, if underneath it says ‘but cannot beat Boston’ or ‘might be the champs but Red Sox are the best,’ or something to that tune.
Both teams want to win, this we all know. For the boys form the Bronx, it is mandatory to prove themselves in this series; to shut up doubters, the haters and most of all the Boston Red Sox.
So this is not just another game, in another series, against another team. Everyone knows the significance and anyone who claims otherwise is flat-out a liar.