By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports Director
With Sunday night’s 5-2 win over the Red Sox, the Yankees completed the four-game sweep at Yankee Stadium. Each series these teams have played resulted in sweeps, extremely rare in their recent competitive history.
New York is not only a city that doesn’t sleep, but it also has a team right now that doesn’t stop winning. No, it’s definitely not the Mets.
The Yankees are the best team in baseball with a 6.5-game lead on the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Their success has been a long time coming, and their big players are living up to their big salaries. Every thing is clicking. Their pitching has been dominant, and their offense has been clutch.
Don’t forget about the most improved facet of the team: the bullpen. Thanks to the incredible job by Phil Hughes, the Yankees have found their setup man to bridge the gap to closer Mariano Rivera. In his 24 games as a reliever, Hughes is 1-1 with a 1.45 ERA, 18 hits allowed, 7 walks given up and 40 strikeouts in 31 innings. Without him, this team wouldn’t be where it is today.
Then there are Red Sox heading in the wrong direction. Nothing is going right for them. The offense has struggled mightily, the starters for the exception of Josh Beckett and Jon Lester have pitched poorly and the bullpen has been overworked. When the best group of relievers in the majors has all of a sudden become not that reliable, you know the team is in trouble.
The only aspect the Red Sox have going for them is time. They have 52 games remaining, plenty of baseball to make up for their losses. They’re tied with the Rangers for the AL Wild Card lead. It’s not like they’re that far out of the running. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago when the Yankees were playing as bad as the Red Sox are now.
If the Red Sox are going to snap out of this horrible slump, they will need to knock off quality teams. Here are their next 27 games. Toronto, 53-57, is their only opponent under .500.
4 vs. Detroit
3 at Texas
3 at Toronto
3 vs. New York
4 vs. Chicago
3 vs. Toronto
3 at Tampa Bay
4 at Chicago
WSOE Sports Director