This is baseball. When the baseball gods invented this beautiful game, this is what they had in mind. Two of the most storied franchises, who just happen to be bitter rivals battling for the division title, facing each other on picture-perfect summer nights. Seriously, what could be better?
In the first match-up of the series, Lowe versus Vasquez. We already know about Lowe, he’s got to have his sinker working and the team has to play defense behind him. End of story. What about Vasquez? The guy can pitch. His ERA against lefties is 3.4, against righties 3.35. He is 4-2 at home with a 2.63 ERA. With bases empty, he is nasty, 1.19 ERA. Sounds good, right? Keep reading…
With runners on, his ERA jumps to 7.83. With runners in scoring position, 12.00 ERA. With bases loaded, 38.57 ERA! Suddenly, things don’t look so bad. We all know the Sox can get runners on base, lots of them. Combine that with a pitcher who doesn’t pitch well with men on base, and this game looks very winnable.
The Yankees get to host the Sox when our offense is running white-hot. Ortiz (AL Player of the Week) is hitting .440 with 4 HR’s and 9 RBI in his last 6 games. Manny is .434 with 2 HR’s and 11 RBI in that same span. Damon – 307, Tek – 400, Bellhorn – 296, Youk – 318. These guys can, and will, get on base. They need to get them home, and Vasquez seems like a good candidate for helping that happen.
Two out of three – minimum. Unless Zim comes out of the stands on Thursday and charges Pedro, how can it get any better?