Lock your laptops, folks. Clay Buchholz, he of the stolen laptops (and, yes, a Major League no-hitter), is making his first start against the Yankees tonight. Buchholz had a bad Spring Training and lost his first start of the season.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are countering with their ace. Chien-Ming Wang has looked exceptional this year so far. In two starts covering 13 innings, Wang is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA. He’s given up 10 hits while walking four and, encouragingly, striking out eight. He’s keeping the ball low and keeping runners off base.
Tonight, though, will be a challenge for Wang. He’s facing a Red Sox team that has, by and large, hit him well over the last few seasons. David Ortiz, currently mired in a 3 for 36 drought to start the season, is 15 for 30 against Wang; Manny Ramirez is 13 for 22; and Kevin Youkilis is 7 for 21. As a team, the Sox hit Wang at a .300/.394/.442 clip and six of the 30 career HRs allowed by the sinkerball specialist have come off the bats of the Red Sox.
The Yankees go with something of a different lineup tonight. Johnny Damon is getting the night off, and the hot-hitting Melky Cabrera will lead off. The game, weather permitting, starts at 7:05 p.m., and we get to experience the drama of a Yankees-Red Sox three-game set all over again.
Chien-Ming Wang P
Coco Crisp CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Manny Ramirez LF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
J.D. Drew RF – Currently, the AL’s leading hitter (11 for 25, .440 BA)
Jason Varitek C
Sean Casey 1B
Julio Lugo SS
Clay Buchholz P