Red Sox Look to Avoid Sweep in Series Finale


Aug 9, 2009

Red Sox Look to Avoid Sweep in Series Finale Things haven't gone according to plan for the Red Sox this weekend. They entered the Bronx just 2 1/2 games out of first place and nipping at the heels of the division-leading Yankees — and they've since fallen off the pace.

Now 5 1/2 games back, the Red Sox desperately need a win to avoid a sweep and stay close to the Bronx Bombers. The Red Sox can't win this series, but they can salvage it by winning the finale on Sunday night.

When and Where

8:05 p.m. ET (ESPN), August 9, 2009
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.


Red Sox (62-47, 2nd place in AL East)
Yankees (68-42, 1st place in AL East)


The Bronx Bombers have put it all together. With a lineup that's knocking the cover off the ball, a rotation that's going strong, and a bullpen that's really improved this season, the Yankees are a complete team — probably the best in baseball. The Red Sox had the Yanks' number earlier this season, but after starting the season 8-0 head-to-head, they've since lost three straight to their division rivals. They'll need this one to dodge the sweep.

Starting Lineups

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Derek Jeter, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Johnny Damon, LF
Victor Martinez, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B Alex Rodriguez, DH
Jason Bay, LF Jorge Posada, C
J.D. Drew, RF Nick Swisher, RF
Mike Lowell, DH Robinson Cano, 2B
Jason Varitek, C Melky Cabrera, CF
Nick Green, SS Jerry Hairston, Jr., 3B

Pitching Matchup

LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.79 ERA) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.35 ERA)

A battle of the southpaws. Lester continues his ascent toward becoming one of the premier power pitchers in the game. After a dazzling 10-strikeout performance in Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, Lester now has 158 strikeouts and 46 walks to his name this season. He's an overpowering force in a power-hitting league, a rare breed these days. Now if only he could get some run support.

For the Yankees, Pettitte is trying to prove that he's still got it at age 37, and with a strong performance since the All-Star break, he's gotten the job done. Pettitte has lowered his ERA by half a run since the break, most recently turning in a gem where he allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings last Tuesday in Toronto. Pettitte has come on strong for the Yankees, making a convincing case that he should be part of their October plans.

Stat Sheet

Red Sox
The Red Sox are 27-30 on the road this season.

The Red Sox have stolen 87 bases this season, fourth in the American League.

Lester is 6-3 in his career against the Yankees. He has a 3.43 ERA in 39.1 innings.

Victor Martinez
has 73 RBIs, eighth in the AL.

Dustin Pedroia
has 32 doubles, seventh in the AL.

David Ortiz has six sacrifice flies, fourth in the AL.

Jacoby Ellsbury
has 109 stolen bases in his career. He has been caught just 19 times.

Casey Kotchman is 1-for-9 since being traded to the Red Sox — and his one hit was a home run against Tampa Bay. He has struck out five times.

Nick Green is 20-for-83 (.241) in his career against the Yankees.

J.D. Drew is 28-for-144 (.194) against them. He has just 12 extra-base hits.

Jason Varitek
is 17-for-50 (.340) in his career against Pettitte, with two home runs.

Kevin Youkilis
is 9-for-20 (.450) against Pettitte.

Mike Lowell's career OPS in August is .720, lower than in any other month.

The Yankees have a plus-91 run differential, best in the American League.

Pettitte is 16-9 in his career against the Red Sox. He has a 3.76 ERA in 196.1 innings.

Mark Teixeira has 28 home runs this season, tied with the Twins' Justin Morneau for the AL lead.

Hideki Matsui
is 101-for-334 (.294) in his career against the Red Sox. He has eight home runs.

Nick Swisher's slugging percentage against Boston is just .348. He has three home runs in 135 at-bats.

Derek Jeter
is 5-for-13 (.385) in his career against Lester. He has struck out four times and walked once.

Robinson Cano
is 3-for-11 (.273) against Lester with one double and one strikeout.

Black and Blue

Red Sox
Jed Lowrie was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday (retroactive to Friday) with numbness in his left forearm.

Rocco Baldelli was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday with a left ankle contusion.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is currently conducting throwing exercises as he prepares to return from a right shoulder injury. He plans to pitch his first bullpen session Tuesday, before the Red Sox take on the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.

Damaso Marte
, who is out with inflammation in his left shoulder, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for pitcher Josh Towers.

Brett Gardner
has been on the 15-day DL since July 26 with a fractured left thumb.

Chien-Ming Wang
is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

This Date in Red Sox History

In 1960, Ted Williams hits the 511th home run of his career to tie Mel Ott for fourth place on the all-time list. He retired at the end of the season with 521 home runs; he now sits 18th on the all-time leaderboard.


“I definitely was a little bit careless back in those days when I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter. But I never [bought] steroids or used steroids. I kind of got educated a little more when this article [in the New York Times] came out … But I never thought buying vitamins and supplements was going to hurt any feelings. If that happened, I’m sorry about that. But that wasn’t my situation.”
–David Ortiz in Sunday's Boston Herald. Ortiz addressed the media on Saturday afternoon about his allegedly positive PED test in 2003.

Press Box

Red Sox
More goose eggs for the Red Sox.

Big Papi says he didn't use steroids.

Can we trust Papi?


The Yanks go for the sweep.

A-Rod's not in the spotlight anymore.

It's waiver wire season.

Josh Hamilton
battles addiction.

Carl Pavano shines with new scenery behind him.

Jered Weaver dominates the Rangers.


The Sox came into this four-game series in the Bronx hoping to take three or maybe earn a sweep; now, they'll be happy to steal just one. They need a big performance from Jon Lester. This is big.

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