There’s nothing like the first Yankees-Red Sox game of the year. It’s like coming back to school after summer break and finding your nemesis waiting by your locker. It’s time to renew the rivalry and get things going. The Yanks and the Sox look to do just that tonight, sending two of their finest young pitchers to duel it out.
You might remember the last time Joba Chamberlain started a game in Fenway Park. That was easily my favorite game of 2009. Joba vs. Beckett, and the pitching duel was everything it was hyped to be. We even got a Kyle Farnsworth signature meltdown, though Mo had mercy on him. The Yanks did let Beckett off the hook that night, putting 10 men on base against him and plating just one of them, as was their wont last year.
Joba has started one other game against the Red Sox in his career, going six innings and allowing three runs on four hits and four walks, striking out five. That’s not terrible, but the Yanks could use a bit more tonight. Jon Lester absolutely dominated them last year, giving up just three runs over 22.2 innings, striking out 24 to just three walks. We could be in for another low-scoring affair, my favorite kind of game.
Girardi did a good job with the lineup today. The bottom third of the order is a black hole no matter which way he lays it out, so we can kind of disregard that. I like that Jorge is DHing in place of Matsui against the lefty. This means that Jorge can catch tomorrow afternoon’s affair and Matsui can slide in against the righty Beckett. Girardi also gets the bat out of Brett Gardner‘s hands, which is fine considering 1) it’s a lefty, 2) Gardner hasn’t been very good, and 3) Melky’s the hot hand right now. It would take a pretty big night from Melky, I would think, for him to get the start again tomorrow.
And on the mound, number sixty-two, Joba Chamberlain.