Yankees @ Red Sox Series Preview

So who would have thought that the first series of the season between the Yankees and Red Sox would be played under these circumstances?  The Yanks are playing very good baseball with the help of a solid lineup, a solid bullpen, and a passable starting rotation.  The Sox, on the other hand, are still searching for their first win and their pitching and hitting have not been nearly as good as advertised.  This being said, in their first home series of 2011, Boston will be fighting harder than ever to squeeze out their first win(s).

Next up. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Don’t expect the same Red Sox team in this series that you saw in the last week.  They know the pressure is on and with an experienced team like the one they have, they will come out swinging.  Let’s take a look at their projected lineup:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Carl Crawford, LF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  5. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  6. David Ortiz, DH
  7. JD Drew, RF
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS

There are a few things that are going to be interesting to see when it comes to the Red Sox offensively.  Number one, will Boone Logan be able to come out of the bullpen in the late innings and get out Ellsbury, Crawford, Gonzalez, Ortiz, and Drew.  Logan has faced three left-handed hitters so far this season and he has gotten none of them out.  They will need him to be effective if they want to win this series.

It will also be interesting to see how Adrian Gonzalez hits in his new home park.  A lot of craziness has been made over Gonzalez’s swing and how it is perfect for Fenway.  Will he be able to adjust right away?  The Yankees need to shut him down as he is the only hitter on the team batting above .227.  Now, let’s take a look at the pitching match-ups:

Friday

Phil Hughes (0-1, 11.25 ERA) vs. John Lackey (0-1, 22.09 ERA)

Saturday

Ivan Nova (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-1, 5.68 ERA)

Sunday

CC Sabathia (0-0, 1.38 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (0-1, 5.40 ERA)

So there they are and all around it should be a pretty good weekend in this regard. On Friday, Hughes will need to have some of that velocity back, or he will get pounded, especially if he can’t locate it.  However, Lackey has had location issues also so it could be easy for the Yanks to get to him.  Saturday, is going to be even more interesting.  Ivan Nova will be facing a full-strength Boston team for the first time ever and I wonder if he will be able to make it through the lineup after the second time through.  The Bombers have an extra long relief arm back in the pen in Freddy Garcia in Freddy Garcia just in case.  And then Sunday it will be the two big names in CC and Beckett.  Sabathia will be hoping to build on that seven inning two-hitter he hurled on Tuesday night.

So there we have it.  The stage is set for a brawl in Boston.  The Red Sox are hungry for that first win while the Yankees are just looking to keep up a streak of solid baseball.  First pitch tomorrow will be at 2:05 on YES.

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