In his last 9 games, the Red Sox Jonathan Papelbon has an ERA of 1.46. Somehow, the Yankees need to solve this kid over the weekend. If not, they could have an issue.
The Yankees will also have an issue if they use Embree, Felix Rodriguez, or Proctor in any of these games against Boston. They are like pouring gasoline on a fire. Even Sturtze is bad news for the New York these days – his ERA in his last 9 games in 7.88.
Back to Boston pitching, Chad Bradford has been a human batting tee in the last week or so – if he gets into a game, the Yankees need to pound him. And, who knows what Craig Hansen will provide Boston? He’s a big wildcard in this series.
As far as the starting pitcher match-ups for this series, this is what we’re looking at:
Tonight: Wang, with an ERA of 4.44 in his last 4 starts, against Wells, with an ERA of 6.14 in his last 4 starts. The Yankees must win this game.
Tomorrow: Johnson, with an ERA of 2.17 in his last 5 starts, against Wakefield, with an ERA of 1.99 in his last 5 starts. Wear two pairs of underwear when you’re watching this game.
Sunday: Mussina, with an ERA of 5.87 in his last 2 starts, against Schilling, with an ERA of 4.46 in his last 5 starts.
It might just come down to that final game on Sunday – which presents an interesting situation for the Yankees and Joe Torre. If New York has a lead in this game, and needs to bridge to Gordon and Rivera, what do you do? Bring in the duds in your pen? Or, do you try and get extra innings out of Gordon and Mo? Or, do you bring in someone good, like Chacón, and play as if there’s no tomorrow – when there could be a tomorrow in the Bronx on Monday? It’s going to be a second-guesser’s delight.