When the Yankees visit Fenway Park tonight for the start of the final 4 games between these historic rivals, the Red Sox will need to play their best 4 games of the year. The Yankees’ record now stands at 92-49 and the Red Sox trail them by 16 games in the standings. The division is out of reach, but they are only 7 games out of the second wildcard spot behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians. Here are the three keys to winning the series against the Yankees:
- Clutch Pitching: When you have a lineup with OF Aaron Judge, C Gary Sanchez and 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, the last thing you want to do is put baserunners on in front of them. Getting outs and keeping the pitch count low will limit the amount of stress pitches the Red Sox pitching staff has to throw. This is especially important with the starters struggling to get through 5 innings. With that in mind, the Red Sox now have 17 arms in the bullpen, but it doesn’t matter who pitches, they need to do their job and get outs when called upon.
- Big hits with runners in scoring position: When they have runners on against Yankees pitching, they can’t be left in scoring position. With the Yankees deep and powerful lineup, you need to score as many runs as you can and make the Yankees’ pitchers pay when mistakes are made. The more traffic you put on the bases early in the game, the quicker the starters will be out of the game. As we saw in London in June, both teams can score a lot of runs and the more the better, especially when you have an unreliable bullpen.
- Stars Shinning: JD Martinez and Rafael Devers need to continue stepping up and taking charge of the offense. When all three hitters are hot, this offense is scary. Martinez finished the last road trip with 6 home runs, 18 RBI’s and a .452 batting average and Devers has been the best hitter on the team all year with 29 home runs and 107 RBI’s. Both players will need to have big weekends.
The action starts tonight at 7:10 pm, when Jhoulys Chacín (3-10) makes his Red Sox debut facing Domingo Germán (17-3). It’s now a one game mentality for the rest of this season, but with such slim playoff hopes, you have to beat the best teams in the league. After missing an opportunity against the Twins, losing 2 of 3 this past week, it’s time to focus on the next series. That starts with the hated Yankees.
You can watch the Red Sox take on the Yankees 9/6/19 at Fenway Park 7:10 PM ET on NESN, YES, FB.
By: Whitney Dowds CruelFan.com