The Boston Red Sox have won eight games against the New York Yankees this year. They have lost one.
Not bad, but not as good as the Red Sox' record against the Yankees to start the season in 2009: 8-0.
That season, the series ended at 9-9. Can the Red Sox continue their success this year? Let's take a look at the reasons for their early season success to see if we can expect it to continue.
In nine games against the Yankees this season, the Red Sox have scored 25 more runs than the so-called Bombers. Adrian Gonzalez has been everything the Red Sox expected and more, and David Ortiz become a feared hitter again with another resurgence.
The Red Sox bats seem to be hot every time a pinstriped pitcher hurls a ball to the plate.
Obvious? To win games good pitching and hitting are necessities, but the Red Sox pitching has been especially stellar against the Yankees this season.
The team ERA against the Yankees is below 4.00. With the resurgence of Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield, the emergence of Clay Buchholz and the continued magnificence of Jon Lester, the Red Sox consistently put some of the best pitchers in baseball on the mound.
Close games are won and lost on small plays, the ones that don't seem to matter when they happen and barely matter in hindsight.
Errors in the field (the Yankees have six to Red Sox three), on the mound (the Yankees ERA is two runs higher against the Red Sox) and at the plate are magnified. What seemed like a meaningless walk with two outs came all the way around the bases to score the winning run.
The Red Sox have paid closer attention to detail than the Yankees this season, and if that continues, expect the Sox to keep winning.
To go 8-1 against any team takes some luck. Jon Lester has won his last five starts against the Yankees and attributed his success, in large part, to luck, according to MLB.com.
The Red Sox are a very good baseball team, but so are the Yankees. This domination of one team over another goes against the very laws of probability, so Red Sox fans must enjoy it while it lasts, because while there are solid reasons the Sox success has come to fruition, reason can't explain this kind of domination.