Yankees vs. Red Sox at Fenway: Anything Can and Will Happen

Micheal Robinson@nyyrobinsonSenior Analyst IIApril 8, 2011

"Baseball is 162 grueling games played in more than a dozen cities; now on the field, we conserve our energy, on the road we conserve our food." -Pitching Coach Brickma in Rookie Of The Year.

Baseball is indeed a long schedule.

This means a few things to me at this point after one week is complete.  It is way too early to be saying anything negative about the Red Sox, and Yankees shouldn't get too comfortable.

Playing an 0-6 Boston Red Sox team, in my opinion, is more dangerous than playing them with a winning record.

Those fans and players are hungry, and the Yankees are on the menu.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are off to a decent start, winning both of their opening series' against the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins, pitting them at 4-2 headed into Boston.

The biggest shock at the moment is the comparisons in pitching.

While Boston's rotation was considered to be much better headed into the season, they are sitting at an astounding 7.13 ERA, which is good for last in baseball.

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New York's pitching has done a little better then expected, as Nova has impressed at the back of the rotation, but pitching is still thin on both sides of this matchup.

The good thing for the Yankees, their bats are picking up any falters in the pitching.

Mark Teixeira is off to an unusually good start, hitting .286, with 4 homers, and 10 RBI.

Bad news for Boston, their hitting is a big reason they are sitting at 0-6 to start the season.  Their bats are virtually dead at the moment.

Boston is hitting a staggering .181 as a team, which is good for 29th in baseball.  With only 16 runs this season, they are ranked 28th in baseball.

It is easy to see that the bats need to come around for this series if they want to win.

A home stand against the Yankees could be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Red Sox, and I will be the last Yankees fan to think we are going to go in there and win games with ease.  It is never easy.

Let's take a look at the pitching match-ups for this three-game set:

Friday, April 8: Phil Hughes (0-1, 11.25) vs. John Lackey (0-1, 22.09)

Both of these pitchers struggled in their first start.  Hughes didn't look good at all on Sunday against the Tigers, lasting only four innings, giving up five earned runs.

Hughes' slow start is nothing new, because April has never been a good month for him.  He has a lot to prove in Friday's series opener.

Saturday, April 9: Ivan Nova (1-0, 4.50) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-1, 5.68)

I really like this matchup.  A battle of a couple of tough youngsters, in the most intense rivalry in sports. While, Buchholz is a little more established than Nova, the Yankees rookie stands at 1-0 on the season after his impressive debut on Monday against the Twins.

The biggest thing I saw from Nova was his control, only one walk, over six innings of work.  Not bad for a rookie.  Let's see if he can keep things going this weekend in the hostile territory of Fenway Park.

Sunday, April 10: CC Sabathia (0-0, 1.38) vs. Josh Beckett (0-1, 5.40)

Sunday Night Baseball pits CC Sabathia against Josh Beckett.  All of the pressure is on Beckett in this contest, and that isn't hard to see.

The veteran Beckett lasted only five innings against the Indians on Tuesday, giving up three runs, five hits, on a staggering four walks in a 1-3 loss.

While this is the Yankees series to lose, again, anything can happen, that's why they play the game.

The Yankees have a chance to pour salt into an open wound and put Boston at 0-9 to start the season, while the Red Sox can pick things up with a series victory against their rival at home.

This should be a good series, so get your popcorn ready.  You can get a high scoring game one night, a pitchers duel the next, and a prize fight to close the series out.

I do feel that the Yankees are comfortable right now, which could be good and bad at the same time. I don't want them to fall asleep out there, but I do want them to be relaxed.

I think the Red Sox could take the opener, but I ultimately think the Yankees will win this series.

Follow me on Twitter @nyyrobinson

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