Make or break weekend: Red Sox ready for Yankees
Three storylines to watch this weekend as the Red Sox invade Yankee Stadium:
For starters …
Red Sox starting pitching has been a major cause for concern of late and playing in Yankee Stadium against a loaded lineup will be a tall order. The last time the two teams met Red Sox starting pitchers didn’t fare so well. Red Sox starters allowed 21 runs (19 earned) in the four games for an ERA of 9.00. The first inning was particularly difficult as they allowed 13 earned runs. Aaron Cook, Jon Lester and Felix Doubront are scheduled to start the three games for the Red Sox. The three have a combined 9-5 lifetime record against the Yankees with a 5.15 ERA. For Lester, Saturday’s start will be particularly important as he is coming off the worst outing of his career where he allowed 11 earned runs in four innings against Toronto last Sunday.
The Carl Crawford roller coaster
The left fielder made his season debut last Monday night and had a very successful first week of his season. Crawford recorded hits in his first five games and hit .389 during that stretch. Since then Crawford has struggled. He is 0 for his last 17 with seven strikeouts. On Tuesday Crawford was moved down in the lineup. He was hitting second in his first seven games, but then was moved to the number seven spot in the order. Crawford reportedly didn’t like being dropped down in the order last season, but said he has no problems with it this year. In the field Crawford has been replaced by Daniel Nava in the late innings of close games, since the Red Sox seem to be concerned with Crawford’s throwing arm/elbow.
Blockbuster coming up?
The major league trade deadline is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. As of now the Red Sox are reportedly unsure as to whether or not they will be buyers, sellers, or even neither. This weekend’s series could play a major role in the Red Sox’ approach at the deadline. If they play well and possibly sweep the series, they could be buyers if they believe they are contenders. If the team plays poorly and gets swept, then they could turn into sellers if they believe they are out of contention. With the extra wild card, more teams can consider themselves contenders, but it also complicates things with the possibility of losing the one-game wild card playoff game and being out of the playoffs before the blink of an eye.