This is one of the most baffling stats of the entire baseball season: Yankees ace CC Sabathia is 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Red Sox this year -- but is 17-3, 2.40 against everyone else! That's going to have to change starting tonight when the Yanks and Sox meet in the opener of a three-game set in Fenway. (It starts at 7 and is a local New York City My9 game, which means you'll have to poke around on your service to find it. It's on radio on WECK-AM 1230.)
Both teams enter on two-game winning streaks and Boston has a 1 1/2-game lead in the AL East. The Red Sox, however, are 10-2 head-to-head with New York this year and the Yankees have a 5.98 ERA in the series. The teams have only one other series remaining, a three-gamer in the Bronx Sept. 23-24-25.
With a win tonight, Sabathia would become just the fifth Yankees pitcher to win at least 18 games in at least three straight seasons, and the first since Vic Raschi had four straight seasons of at least 18 wins from 1948-51. Sabathia will be opposed by John Lackey, who is 12-9 but has a ghastly 5.98 ERA.
Phil Hughes meets Josh Beckett on Wednesday while A.J. Burnett gives thanks that August is over to face Jon Lester on Thursday. Burnett had an 11.91 ERA and looked completely lost during his five August starts but still managed to go 1-2.
On the injury front, Alex Rodriguez (thumb) looks like he could miss the series while Derek Jeter (knee) could be out tonight. Kevin Youkilis (back) is starting rehab tonight for Pawtucket in Rochester.
For Jerry Sullivan's take on Sabathia, see this entry at the Sully on Sports blog.