The rubber match of the weekend series between the Yankees and Red Sox is the thrilling Sunday Night Baseball matchup between CC Sabathia and Ryan Dempster. Can the Yankees offense pick up were it left off Friday night and will Sabathia build off better starts as of late?
#Yankees lineup vs BOS: Gardner CF, Ichiro RF, Cano 2B, Soriano LF, A-Rod 3B, Granderson DH, Nunez SS, Overbay 1B, Stewart C, Sabathia P— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 18, 2013
Curtis Granderson slots into the lineup as the DH once again. Alfonso Soriano had quite an adventure with the Green Monster in yesterday's game, but Joe Girardi has decided to stick with playing him in left field for the series finale. Ichiro Suzuki, who has struggled since the All-Star break, has managed to put up an .861 OPS against Dempster in a limited sample of 13 plate appearances. Brett Gardner, surprisingly enough, is the only Yankee to have hit a home run against the Boston right-hander.
Soriano enters tonight's matchup on an absolute offensive tear. Since the beginning of August, Soriano has hit .345/.387/.724 with seven home runs, providing the Yankees some much-needed production from right-handers in their lineup. Newly acquired Mark Reynolds sits in favor of Lyle Overbay against the righty Dempster.
After the New York Times published an article about Alex Rodriguez's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, launching some serious accusations against the Yankees front office, Chad Jennings of LoHud was kind enough to document the answers to media questions A-Rod answered after yesterday's loss to the Red Sox here. If you'd prefer to hear the audio, Jennings also has that for you here.
There is no way for us to know at this point what is real and what is a continued stream of noise coming from both sides during this saga. After 60 Minutes claimed that Rodriguez was the one to point MLB toward fellow Biogenesis clients like Ryan Braun and Francisco Cervelli, Rodriguez claimed that the stories would keep coming and likely be worse. It seemed at first like that might just be an off-handed joke. Maybe not so much. The endless back and forth between both sides is tiring, frustrating, and distracting.