When the Red Sox and Yankees usually meet it is a contest of an immovable object vs an unstoppable force. In this case the immovable object is a losing record for both teams, the unstoppable force injury on one side and mediocrity on the other.
The Yankee injuries include Stanton, Severino, Gregroious, Betances, Sanchez, Hicks and Andujar. That’s an All Star team. Not for nothing, but Aaron Judge seems like the only important piece not injured. They’re record is 6-9 and there’s a very good reason for it.
And then there is the 6-11 Red Sox. If I have to hear ‘It’s early’ one more time I might just burn one of my many Red Sox towels. The ravens have flown, it is officially spring. This team is sleep walking right now and it has to stop. On to the preview:
Pitching Matchups/Schedule (TV)
4/16 Chris Sale vs James Paxton 6:35 NESN
417 Nathan Eovaldi vs J.A. Happ 6:35 ESPN
1.93: That is the ERA for both Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi against the Yankees in the last three years. They’re certified Yankee killers. Could this be just what the doctor ordered to get these guys on track? Who can say?
Against Paxton, J.D. Martinez should continue his hot start to the season. He’s hit .500 against Paxton in his career. Both Brock Holt and JBJ have gone 3-7 against him as well. That short porch in right at Yankee Stadium might be beneficial to the Sox slumbering bats.
The Sox may hit Happ to a measly .212 as a team, but Steve Pearce has shined: .344 lifetime with 6 home runs.
What To Watch For
How about a little life from the boys? How about a glimmer of hope that the team is here to play this year? If you listened to Cora after Patriots Day he seemed to sense that maybe it’s not so early. On paper the Sox should sweep the two game series.
It’s anyone’s guess right now. Even if the Sox sweep these two games it will be against half the Yankees. Look for signs of life. If we see grind it out at bats and pitchers hitting locations early we’ll know the Sox are waking up. But Nathan Eovaldi has a 8.40 ERA, Chris Sale a 9.0 ERA. The team is hitting around .230 overall right now.
Again, on paper, this is a Red Sox sweep. But the flesh and blood Sox are teetering on the precipice of irrelevancy. The fact the Yankees are reeling is the only light in our collective Sox universe.
I’m hoping for Cora to put on his cape and cowl and give us another super hero managerial performance. To save this team from themselves. But it sure looks like the Night King has set up residence in the clubhouse.
Featured Image via HBO screen grab