For the Boston Red Sox and their fans there is but one path that remains to salvage a shred of redemption in an otherwise humbling 2012 campaign; beat the New York Yankees. Beat them decisively. Beat them like a rented mule. Beat them as if your baseball life depended on it.
This is crucial. For a Red Sox fan, there is nothing on this earth more deliciously gleeful than dealing the Yankees a death blow in the last three games of the regular season. The hot breath of Baltimore, Oakland, Tampa Bay and the Angels can be felt on the Yankees’ neck. The pressure is on. Any professional athlete who says it’s just another game is lying. It’s crunch time kids. Get DOWN! Here’s how the matchups break down.
Game One, Monday, 7:05 pm
Clay Buchholz (11-7, 4.22 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (14-6, 3.42 ERA)
It’s not saying much but Buchholz has been Boston’s most consistent starter. He gives them their best opportunity to take game one. Although Sabathia has a better record and a lower ERA, he has not been his usual god-like self this year and can most definitely be had.
Prediction: Buchholz and the Sox rise to the occasion and take game one.
Game Two, Tuesday, 7:05 pm
Jon Lester (9-14, 4.94 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (12-8, 5.02 ERA)
Lester has been 1-3 in the last month with a slightly lower ERA. Nova is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in his last three starts. Even though Nova has been less effective in recent appearances, Lester will find a way to again register high on the suck-o-meter.
Prediction: Lester will give up runs early, be tough as nails through the middle innings but will eventually get tagged for a couple of big hits that will knock him and the Sox out of the box.
Game Three, Wednesday, 7:05 pm
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6, 7.68 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (15-11, 3.34 ERA)
Really? Really? This is what it comes down to? Bobby V, honestly, give me the ball for goodness sake! I’ve got more heart and, at 54, more guile than Dice-K – well at least for six to eight pitches. Dice-K has been hammered in his last three starts (0-2, 13.03 ERA). Kuroda is 2-1 with a 5.29 ERA.
Prediction: Kate Middleton could make this pick. This is a slam dunk. The Yankees will savage Matsuzaka early and often and the Sox will fold as tee time beckons and the light at the end of a very dark tunnel is too late recognized as an oncoming train.
So Who Wins It All?
The Baltimore Orioles, team of destiny, sweeps Tampa Bay at the Trop to win the AL East. Oakland come up short and the Evil Empire squeaks into the playoffs, only to be bounced in the first round. I can dream can’t I?
Talk about biting the hand that feeds
Sitting there watching as it bleeds
Try your best in the winter light
When it really should be summer night
Is it too late, baby?
Too late now
Too late, baby?
Too late now
Too late for you to realize
Everything could have been alright
- Is It Too Late?, World Party