The Boston Red Sox have made the New York Yankees their whipping boys these past two weekends. After a sweep of the Chicago White Sox in New York, Boston came to the Bronx in a series that could have been a catapult for the Yanks’ confidence, if they could hang with their rivals; they did hang with them, but the Yankees’ bullpen blew leads, and they were lucky to not get swept in the four-game set.
Now, after taking three of four from the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards to get within one game of a playoff spot, the Yanks had to go to Fenway and try to make it out of the weekend alive. So far, they are on the precipice of death. In the first game, the Yankees had more bullpen blunders, and Jon Lester was dominant the whole way through yesterday; the Yankees had no chance. It’s also worth noting that CC Sabathia, a pitcher with a near 5.00 ERA, looked like he had all year.
Now, on the verge of a sweep, and with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays both winning in consecutive days, the Yanks are back to three games down in the wild card standings, and the tribe is a game-and-a-half ahead of the Bombers as well. The Red Sox have been the Yankees’ kryptonite in September and there is nothing indicating that tonight will be any different. The Red Sox have Clay Buchholz going, who is 10-0 with a 1.61 ERA. That is sheer dominance, even after coming off a long DL stint; he out-pitched the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, David Price, in his first start since returning.
The Yankees once again have put a huge burden on their young starter, Ivan Nova. It seems like every time the Yanks are in a dire situation, Nova ends up on the mound, and this might be the most ominous predicament they have been in all season. If Nova can pitch a gem and save or prolong hope, it would be a huge boost for the Yanks, because after this Boston tromping they have endured, the schedule is in their favor the rest of the way.