Two months into the MLB season, few people would have guessed the Red Sox would be looking to get their third sweep of the Yankees. With Boston up 7-0, it is time to look at how they're getting it done.
So, what exactly makes the Red Sox so unstoppable when playing New York?
First, when comparing the team's batting lineups and offensive attacks, no major difference can be drawn.
Both the Yankees and the Sox have powerful hitters and a combined team batting average of over .270. I have therefore come to the conclusion that hitting is not the reason why the Red Sox have been able to dominate New York.
The difference between these two all-star teams lies in the pitching staff of the Red Sox.
Minus the 16-11 slug fest on April 25th (in which the Red Sox prevailed), Red Sox pitchers have let up 17 runs compared to Yankee's pitchers with 35 runs.
There is no doubt that Josh Beckett has been destructive against a dangerous Yankee's team in two starts in the series so far.
However, Beckett is not alone. Starters such as Wakefield and Lester have added to the Red Sox's pitching to create a strong band of Boston starters.
While the pitching of starters such as Beckett, Lester, and Wakefield has been devastating, Boston relievers have finished games for the Red Sox that the Yankee bullpen would have had trouble grabbing.
Okajima, Saito, Ramirez, and Papelbon have stepped up their game against the Yankees thus far, providing the Red Sox with the edge they need to beat New York.
Relievers for Boston have allowed just 10 hits and five earned runs in seven games against the Yankees. Red Sox relievers have three saves in the seven game series.
These statistics topple those of Yankee's relievers who were unable to shut down Boston late in games to give their team a chance to win.
While overall pitching is not the only reason the Red Sox have been able to dominate the Yankees in their first seven meetings this year, it is a strong factor.
Combined with explosive Red Sox batters from top to bottom, Boston has given the Yankees a tough time this season.
How much longer will the Red Sox be able to continue this tear?
I predict Boston will fall sooner than later to New York, but will continue to out play the Yankees throughout the year. It will come as a surprise to me if the Yankees can even win a series against the the Red Sox this year.
Either way, we are guaranteed exciting and close baseball from this storied major league rivalry.
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