Daisuke Matsuzaka Gets a Chance to Make a Statement Against Yankees

The Red Sox’ final road series of the season got off to a difficult start on Friday night. Jon Lester was knocked out of the game in the third inning after taking a line drive off his right knee and took his first loss since July — at the hands of the Yankees, no less. The loss dropped the Red Sox to 39-40 on the road.

When and Where

4:10 p.m. ET, Sept. 26, 2009
Yankee Stadium, New York, NY,

Records

Red Sox  (91-62, 2nd  place in AL East)
Yankees (98-56, 1st place in AL East)

Head to Head

Despite Friday's loss, the Sox still hold a 9-7 advantage in the season series — but after going 8-0 in the first half, they are just 1-7 in the second half against the Yankees. The Sox have won just two season series over the Yankees since 1997, going 11-8 in 2004 and 8-4 in 1999.

Starting Lineups

Red Sox Yankees
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Derek Jeter, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Johnny Damon, LF
Victor Martinez, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Mike Lowell, 3B Hideki Matsui, DH
David Ortiz, DH Jorge Posada, C
Rocco Baldelli, RF Robinson Cano, 2B
Jed Lowrie, SS Nick Swisher, RF
Brian Anderson, LF Melky Cabrera, CF

Starting Pitchers

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-5, 6.80 ERA) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (18-7, 3.31)

In his last start, Sept. 20 in Baltimore, Matsuzaka won his second consecutive decision since coming off the DL. He gave up three runs on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.   

This is Matsuzaka's first outing of the season against the Yankees. In six career starts against New York, his is 3-2 with a 6.35 ERA, giving up 24 earned runs in 34 innings. In two career starts at the old Yankee Stadium, he is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA (nine earned runs, 12 1/3 innings).

Sabathia is among the leading contenders for the AL Cy Young Award, leading the league in wins. Opponents are hitting .232 against him. He is undefeated in his last 10 starts, including six on the road, since Aug. 2, going 8-0 with a 2.24 ERA. The Yankees have won all of those 10 games, and 12 of Sabathia's 13 starts since the All-Star break. His eight-game winning streak is the longest active winning streak in the majors.  

This is his 11th career start against the Red Sox and his fourth this season. In his last outing, Aug. 23 at Fenway, he earned the win, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. In his last start against the Sox at Yankee Stadium, on Aug. 8, he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a two-out single to Jacoby Ellsbury.  

Stat Sheet

Red Sox
Despite Friday’s loss, Sox starters are 10-3 with a  2.96 ERA (36 earned runs in  109 1/3 innings) over the last 18 games. The rotation is 9-2 with a 3.08 ERA (33 earned runs,  96 1/3 innings) in the last 15 games, holding opponents to one or no runs in seven of those games.  

The Sox have scored at least six runs in an inning 14 times this season, the highest total for any team in the majors this season.

David Ortiz has homered in each of his last three games, with 10 RBI in that span. He has reached 25 homers in a season for the sixth time in his career, all with the Sox. Ted Williams (14) and Jim Rice (seven) are the only Sox players with more 25-homer seasons.

Red Sox batters lead the majors with 230 runs scored and 55 home runs since Aug. 18. They are second in that span with a .294 average, trailing only the Yankees’ .304 average.

Victor Martinez
went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI on Friday, extended his hitting streak to 24 games since Aug. 28. It is the longest active streak in the majors.

Dustin Pedroia
’s 16-game hit streak ended Friday. It was his longest streak since a career-high 17-gamer from June 22-July 9, 2008, and the second longest active streak in baseball.

Prior to the addition of Alex Gonzalez, the Sox were eighth in the AL with a .984 fielding percentage. Since Aug. 15, they lead the majors with a .991 fielding percentage.

Yankees

At 98-56, the Yankees have the best record in the majors, and at 53-23, they have the most home wins.

With 876 runs scored, the Yankees lead the majors but are second in run differential with a plus-154 mark. The Dodgers lead the majors at plus-177.

The Yankees were the majors’ first team to win 90 games this season, the third time in the last 45 years they have been the first to reach to 90 wins in a season.

The Yankees are second in the majors with a .284 team average.

Mark Teixeira leads the AL with 119 RBI and is second in home runs with 37.

CC Sabathia leads the AL with 18 wins.

Derek Jeter is third in the AL with a .330 average.

Black and Blue

Red Sox
Jon Lester is day-to-day after taking a line drive off his knee on Friday.

Tim Wakefield
has been coping with a lower back injury but is expected to make his next start on Tuesday.

Right-hander Junichi Tazawa was placed on the 60-day DL on Monday with a mild left groin strain.

Yankees
Outfielder Xavier Nady has been on the DL since April 15 with an ulnar collateral ligament injury in his right elbow.

Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang has been on the DL since July 5 with a right shoulder strain.

Jerry Hairston is day-to-day with a wrist injury.

This Date In Red Sox History

In 1998, in a 5-2 loss to the Orioles at Fenway,  Dennis Eckersley pitched in his 1,071st game, breaking Hoyt Wilhelm's major league record for the most career pitching appearances.

Overheard

"It hit me in a good spot that, hopefully, it won't make me miss any time.”
– Jon Lester, after being hit by a line drive in the third inning of Friday
's loss

Press Box

Red Sox
Friday night marked a double loss for the Sox.

Jon Lester is day-to-day after taking a line drive off his knee.

Big Papi went Little League to get his swing back.

Yankees
The Yankees are a game closer to the AL East title.

A-Rod gave the Sox a new home run record.

Jerry Hairston will play through wrist pain.

MLB
Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup for the Rangers after missing 19 games.

The Indians beat the Orioles, ending a historic skid.

Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman is declared a free agent.

Outlook

This outing will be a major test for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Although he has won both starts since coming off three months on the disabled list, his last start was against the last-place Orioles. This start will give him much more of a challenge.  And with the bullpen pitching more than five innings on Friday because of Jon Lester’s injury, it will help if he can go deep into the game.

Yardbarker

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