Daisuke Matsuzaka Hopes to Best Andy Pettitte in Opener of Season’s Final Series

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Daisuke Matsuzaka Hopes to Best Andy Pettitte in Opener of Season's Final Series It was supposed to mean so much more than this, but there might still be some drama when the Red Sox and Yankees begin the final series of the season at Fenway Park on Friday night.

Although the Sox are out of the playoff race, they can still do damage to their rival's chances for the AL East crown. New York enters tied with Tampa Bay atop the division.

Boston finished its road schedule with an 8-2 loss in Chicago on Thursday night.

Daisuke Matsuzaka opposes Andy Pettitte in the final start of the regular season for both pitchers.

WHEN AND WHERE

Yankees (94-65) at Red Sox (87-72)
Friday, Oct. 1, 7:10 p.m. NESN
Fenway Park, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

The Yankees own an 8-7 series advantage.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Andy Pettitte (11-3, 3.17 ERA) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-6, 4.72 ERA)

Facing the Yankees on Sunday night in New York, Matsuzaka had his best start in nearly two months, allowing two runs on four hits in eight innings. Unfortunately, both runs came on a two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the seventh, a shot which gave the Yanks the lead.

Matsuzaka has just one win in his last eight starts. His last win at home came Aug. 5 vs. Cleveland. The righty is 3-3 with a 5.70 ERA vs. New York in his career.

Pettitte will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list. He had one gem in Baltimore and then was knocked around by the Sox a week ago in Yankee Stadium.

In just 3 1/3 innings vs. Boston, Pettitte surrendered seven runs — six earned — and was on the losing end of a 10-8 slugfest. He is 18-10 lifetime against the Red Sox.

LINEUPS

Lineups will be available approximately four hours before first pitch.

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Catcher Victor Martinez is batting .400 (24-for-60) over his last 15 games.
  • Outfielder Darnell McDonald had his team-leading 12th sacrifice bunt Thursday night.
  • Outfielder Ryan Kalish has six stolen bases in his last 19 games. He had just one over his first 31.

Yankees

  • Third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit his 30th home run Wednesday to extend his own record of seasons with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs to 14.
  • New York leads the majors with 47 comeback wins.

The Yanks have lost nine straight games started by left-handed pitchers.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had season-ending surgery Sept. 3 on his broken left foot. He is expected to be fully healed for spring training.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs) will not resume any baseball-related activities until after the season ends.
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron had season-ending surgery to repair an abdominal tear.
  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Left-hander Felix Doubront has pain behind his left clavicle. He will not pitch again this season but hopes to throw a bullpen session before the regular season ends.
  • Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Yankees

  • Designated hitter Nick Johnson is out for the year with an inflamed right wrist tendon.
  • Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will not return due to a strained lower back.
  • Left-hander Damaso Marte is on the 60-day DL with left shoulder inflammation.

OUTLOOK

Josh Beckett and Jon Lester had disappointing ends to their seasons in the last two days. It would be nice to see Matsuzaka end that trend and finish on a good note, especially with the Yankees in town.

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