The third and final game of the second Yanks/Sox series of the year features a gross mismatch. Chien-Ming Wang was the runner-up for the Cy Young last year, Julian Tavarez is garbage. Chien-Ming Wang is the ace of the Yankee staff, Julian Tavarez is garbage. Chien-Ming Wang is a groundball-inducing robot on the mound, Julian Tavarez is garbage.
The Yankees are the defending A.L. East champions, and it’s time to put together back-to-back games that will remind people of that fact. All hope seemed to be lost Friday night when the Yanks were drubbed at home and fell 6.5 games behind the Red Sox. Today, the Yanks can take this series, trim the deficit to 4.5 games, and officially right the ship.
Interesting sobering note for all the Sox fans out there. The Red Sox started the 2001, 2002 and 2004 seasons with a record of 15–8 or better. Each year they finished behind the Yanks.
Fun Julian Tavarez Stats:
- Career as a starter vs. the Yanks Tavarez is 0–1 with a 12.91 ERA (11 earned in 7.2 innings)
- So far this year, the league is hitting .317 against Tavarez.
- He’s pitched for 8 teams in his 14–year career.
- His name is pronounced “JOOL-ee-an tah-VAR-rez”
- He hasn’t thrown more than 87 pitches in any game this year, which means he should last about 3.2 innings vs. the Yankee lineup.
Key to the game: Abuse Tavarez and make the Sox go to their pen early, something Francona has not done in any of the first 5 games the teams have played this year.
Sox blog-of-the-day: Yanksfan vs. Soxsfan
This game has got to be a win.