Nearly two weeks ago, the Red Sox left New York reeling. They had just been swept by the Yankees to fall 6.5 games out of first place in the AL East. It was a good weekend for Yankee fans.
Since then, though, the Red Sox have recovered. While the Yankees have gone 7-3 over their last ten games since facing Boston, the Red Sox have also gone 7-3 since leaving the Bronx. They just wrapped up a three-game sweep of Toronto in which they scored 24 runs and gave up just 11. This weekend’s match-up features two hot teams playing for right now.
The Yankees, as we well know, have not had much luck in Boston this season. They’re 0-6 in Fenway, and barring an October match-up, this weekend’s trip will be the last of the season. Tyler Kepner explored how the Yankees have something to prove in Boston.
This weekend, though, goes well beyond something to prove. This weekend will determine the AL East. We’ll find out if the Yankees have to worry about the Red Sox. We’ll find out if the Red Sox can mount a comeback. We’ll find out if the very hot Yankees can come into Fenway and make a statement.
As things stand right now, the Yankees are 6.5 games up, and they can leave Fenway in one of four positions. They could sweep and be 9.5 games up. September would be a cakewalk for them. They can win two of three and head home with a comfortable 7.5 game lead. They could lose two of three and find themselves 5.5 games up. Or they could find themselves on the wrong end of yet another Fenway sweep and feel the Red Sox breathing down their necks just 3.5 games out of first.
Of course, we’ll hope for the three-game sweep but be satisfied with two of three. Even that outcome would strip four games off the Yanks’ Magic Number, and the pitching match-ups favor the Bombers. How will it end is anyone’s guess, but it’s bound to be a wild weekend no matter what. In Fenway, it always is.