Ah, the traditional AL East home stretch, the Sox are at the Stadium and the Yankees are desperate to win—but not the AL East title; the Bumbling Bombers are scrambling for a Wild Card slot with just a 1-in-10 chance of Post-season action.*
With 8 head-to-head games remaining, the rivals are both on a roll in their last 10 games: Sox [8-2], Yanks [7-3] and Boston [84-57] will send recently-acquired RHP Jake Peavy [11-5, 3.91] to the bump to oppose the Yanks’ [75-64] emerging star RHP Ivan Nova [8-4, 2.88].
Peavy is 0-4 lifetime against the Yankees with a 3.96 ERA. Uh…oh…
For those long-suffering geriatric Sox fans who worry reflexively about the Yankees and still have flashbacks–1978: Bucky Dent HR, 2003: Aaron Boone walk-off HR, 2000: 22–1 shellacking, the most lopsided Fenway loss ever. –we stipulate that–theoretically–IF the New Yawkas sweep both 4-game series, they would close the current 8-game gap for the AL East crown.
But the 2013 Red Sox are leading the AL in wins  and W% [.596] and are pulling away from slumping Tampa [5.5 GB] and expect their ace, Buchholz [9-0] to return to the rotation and are focused on who they will play in the ALCS.
[VIDEO: Dempster plunks A-Rod: http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=29843047]
Although apparently unconcerned with “waking up a sleeping giant,” Red Sox manager Farrell diplomatically referred to the gap between the two teams:
We go out to win a game on a given night. We can’t control what other teams have done… There’s some wins we’ve accumulated when some other teams have maybe met some challenges in their own way.
I don’t think we take the field with any different mentality based on the spread between teams in the top part of the division. That would be focusing on something we have not a whole lot of control over.”
Referencing the “Dempster Declaration” during the previous series, N.Y. manager Girardi:
“I think time is always good…I think that obviously we know what’s at stake, and we have to go out and play the games and win the games. That’s the most important thing.”
Girardi said his players are more concerned with earning a Playoff slot:
“I think our guys understand what’s at stake,”
The Red Sox have won 9 of their last 11, including the Detroit series and are 7-5 vs. the failing Yankees.
Farrell is optimistic about his pitchers:
“The last three turns through the rotation, we may have had one game where things didn’t work out, but they’ve been on a good run…Based on not just their performance, but what they’re showing in terms of stuff. They don’t show signs of fatigue all that much, given the number of innings guys are compiling. They’re headed in a good direction right now.”
The Red Sox are headed in a direction that will take them into the Playoffs; the Yankees are 10-1 odds* to be headed for home to watch the Red Sox in the World Series.
Doubront (10-6, 3.89)
Pettitte (10-9, 4.01)
Lackey (8-12, 3.22)
Huff (2-0, 3.32)
Lester (13-8, 3.88)
Kuroda (11-10, 2.99)
- –^ a b Edes, Gordon (June 20, 2000). “Tee-Off Time Yankees Club Sox in Worst Home Defeat”. The Boston Globe. p. F1.
GAME NOTES [SOURCE: Cash Kruth / MLB.com, http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_05_bosmlb_nyamlb_1&mode=preview&c_id=bos]
• David Ortiz recorded his 2,000th career hit on Wednesday. He is the 39th player in history with 2,000 hits, 400 homers and 1,400 RBIs and third among active players.
• Closer Koji Uehara has retired 21 consecutive batters and hasn’t allowed a run in 25 straight innings.
• Right-hander Ivan Nova threw his first career shutout in his previous outing against the Orioles, allowing three hits and striking out five. It was the latest strong outing for the right-hander, who is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last six starts. He has pitched into the seventh inning in each of those, allowing three runs or fewer in all but one.
• Second baseman Robinson Cano has hit safely in 23 of his last 28 games, batting .387 with nine doubles and five homers in that stretch.
• The Yankees are 15-1 when hitting at least one home run since Aug. 11.
• The Red Sox are facing the Yankees in New York for the last time this season. It’s also the first time Boston will see Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who leads all active players with 264 games and 321 hits against the Red Sox.
• Yankee relievers have a 2.04 ERA in their last 19 games, while Boston’s ‘pen has been charged with runs in only one of its last nine games.
• The Red Sox are 27 games above .500 for the first time since Sept. 8, 2011