While the Sox may not have much to play for at this point, the potential to play spoiler is still there and, with some quality pitching, they could make life much more difficult for their archrivals. The Red Sox have the luxury of being able to exhaust their bullpen, which means there will be plenty of candidates for the final Amica Pitcher of the Week award.
The series kicks off Monday night with Clay Buchholz (11-7, 4.22 ERA) taking the ball for just the second time this season against the Yankees. Buchholz was hit hard April 20 at home against the Bronx Bombers, giving up six runs on nine hits through six innings of work. However, Buchholz has been a different pitcher since the calander flipped to June and — despite dropping his last three decisions — posted a solid 3.03 ERA in the month of September.
Following Buchholz will be Jon Lester (9-14, 4.94). The reigning Amica Pitcher of the Week has had one of his most inconsistent seasons to date but has turned things around in September. Lester has faced the Yanks twice this season, and his last outing in New York was one of his best of the season, as he held the home team to just one run on five hits through seven innings.
Wrapping up the 2012 season for the Red Sox will be Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6, 7.68). As his record shows, it has been a long, long year for Dice-K. In 10 starts this year, Matsuzaka has lasted more than six innings just twice. He has not faced the Yankees in 2012, but since 2009, Matsuzaka has posted a 4.38 ERA in 24 2/3 innings in four starts against them.
With the Yankees pressing for the playoffs and Red Sox on the outside looking in, who will lead the Red Sox in their spoiler bid and take home the final Amica Pitcher of the Week award?