The Yankees are fresh off splitting a four-game set with the Blue Jays in Toronto, and now a tougher test comes to town in the form of the Boston Red Sox. After scuffling a bit to start the season, the Red Sox find themselves two games behind New York in second place in the AL East.
Can the Yankees take the series and stay on top of the division like they have been for pretty much the entire season? They’ll need their starters to contain Boston’s offense if they want to do it.
Game 1: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Drew Pomeranz
Three of Tanaka’s last four starts have been horrendous. The Yankees’ ace’s ERA has ballooned to 6.34 on the season with a 1.52 WHIP. He has been even worse than his season ERA against the AL with a 6.99 ERA in 47.2 innings against the league.
If New York is going to stay in a position to make the playoffs they are going to need more from Tanaka. A good start against the Red Sox tonight would be a great place to start.
Pomeranz has been very good in his last two starts again Texas and the Chicago White Sox. Unfortunately for Boston, he has been quite bad on the road with a 4.43 ERA away from Fenway. Yankee Stadium is far from pitcher-friendly, and the Yankee offense is more than capable of making an opposing pitcher feel bad about himself.
Game 2: CC Sabathia vs. Rick Porcello
Sabathia’s 6-2 record with a 4.12 ERA is a bit of a testament to the Yankee offense. He hasn’t had a clunker of a start since his six-inning, five-run flop in Cincinnati, though. That was the last time Sabathia allowed more than two runs, and also the last time he was handed a loss. One place Sabathia has struggled is within the confines of his home ballpark with a 6.17 ERA in 23.1 innings.
After dropping his first four decisions, Porcello has had somewhat better luck recently. He did give up four runs in consecutive starts against the Rangers and Cardinals in May, but tossed quality starts in each of his last two outings. Those both ended in losses, though. He has been adequate on the road and better than his season numbers against fellow AL teams.
Game 3: Michael Pineda vs. David Price
Michael Pineda has been New York’s best starter, which still feels weird as a reality. He did have poor results in his last start against Toronto, but that was really his only true forgettable performance of the season. That’s very impressive. More impressively for a pitcher who has been very home run prone, Pineda has been very good at Yankee Stadium this season.
Price is still just getting back into the swing of things after an injury cost him nearly two months of the season. He threw seven one-run innings against the Orioles his last time out to earn his first win of the season. Everyone knows Price is good, but hopefully there is still some rust there that keeps him from being as good as he can be this time around.