The Boston Red Sox came into the Bronx this weekend with a job to do: continue to bury the New York Yankees deeper in the standings. The Yankees had lost five in a row coming into the series, and Boston took full advantage of their depleted lineup.
The fact of the matter is this: the Yankees are a mediocre baseball team at best, and the Red Sox are an above-average team. The Bronx Bombers have not been this vulnerable since Don Mattingly was wearing pinstripes. Don’t let their 31-25 record deceive you. This is a team that the Red Sox are much better than and taking two out of three as they did this weekend should be the expected result.
The Red Sox are a deep squad. Their one-two punch of Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz is not something that the Yankees can counter. After C.C. Sabathia, you never know what you’re getting out of Ivan Nova, Andy Petitte, and Hideki Kuroda (as was witnessed in last night’s 3-0 Boston victory).
Boston’s lineup is infinitely better than New York’s. Robinson Cano is the only player in the Yankees’ lineup with more than 30 RBIs. The players who have been pleasant surprises this year are journeymen such as Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner, and Vernon Wells. If you are counting on this trio to carry you through a 162-game schedule, it’s going to be a long season.
The Red Sox lineup is one of the best in baseball. Mike Napoli, David Ortiz, and Daniel Nava have more RBI than anyone in pinstripes. Dustin Pedroia is having an MVP-calibre season as well. Besides Nava, these four have all done this before so the production will likely continue.
The scary part is that Jacoby Ellsbury has had a poor season. If he gets going, the Yankees have no shot at catching Boston.
We’ve got a ways to go this season, but one thing is for sure: the AL East is Boston’s to lose.