The disastrous season for the Boston Red Sox will come to close on Wednesday night in the Bronx, where they will try to play the role of the spoiler once again for the New York Yankees.
It truly is amazing to think how badly the Red Sox played down the stretch of this year. They were 53-51 and just two games behind the Baltimore Orioles on July 31st, but over the course of the last 2+ months of the season, they have gone 16-41 and have been the worst team in baseball. They are ending the year with series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the O’s, and the Yanks, and they have gone 0-7 in those games and have looked terrible in most of them. In what could be the final game for Manager Bobby Valentine, he’ll send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the bump. Remember when Dice-K was one of the truly elite pitchers in baseball? Not so much any longer. The Japanese sensation went just 1-6 this year, and his 7.68 ERA was just a microcosm of an atrocious season that has totally gone awry. Dice-K is just hoping to get something going here in this final start of the year, but it certainly isn’t likely against a New York team that is dialed in and hopes to clinch the AL East today.
Speaking of the Bronx Bombers… They have a very simply recipe for success today: Just win, baby. New York needs a win or a Baltimore loss to clinch the AL East title. A Yankees loss and an Orioles win, and these two teams will meet in Camden Yards on Thursday for the one-game playoff to determine which team gets to stay out of Friday’s Wild Card game. A win also locks up the top seed in the American League, while a loss, a Baltimore loss, and a win by the Oakland Athletics today knocks the Yanks down to No. 2. Manager Joe Girardi probably would have rather rested Hiroki Kuroda today, but there is just too much on the line to not use him. Another Japanese stay, Kuroda has been a fantastic addition this year for the Yankees. He is 15-11 with a 3.34 ERA, and he is surely going to be the second man that is called upon by Girardi behind CC Sabathia in the second season.
The Yankees are just clearly going to pummel the Red Sox in this game from start to finish. It won’t quite be a full day off for Kuroda, but we don’t see him throwing more than five innings before the men that aren’t going to make the playoff roster take over. New York 8 – Boston 4