Rivarly renewal

What else is there to write when it comes to the Red Sox and Yankees? They face off tonight in the opener of their fourth series since May 1, with Josh Beckett taking on Mike Mussina.

Rivalry overload or not, the crack PR staff of the Sox came up with plenty of items to take note of. The following are the best tidbits from their daily notes package:

  • Boston owns a 4-3 edge against New York this season, going 2-2 at Fenway Park and 2-1 at Yankee Stadium…after this week, the clubs do not meet again until a 5-game set at
    Fenway Park Aug. 18-21…they meet once more at Yankee Stadium for 3 games Sept. 15-17.
  • The Red Sox and Yankees have met 78 times during the regular season and postseason over the last 4 years, with the Red Sox holding a 35-34 edge…the Sox and Yanks played 19 regular season games and 7 games in the ALCS in both 2003 and 2004, 19 games in 2005 and 7 games thus far in 2006…here’s a look at the head-to-head statistical breakdown since the start of 2003 (regular season and postseason numbers included):







    13-17 (76.5%)

    19-34 (55.9%)
  • New York holds a 1,068-878 advantage in the all-time regular season series, which dates to 1903…the Red Sox are 487-492 at home (437-432 at Fenway) and 391-576 in the Bronx.
  • Yankees vs. Josh Beckett: No member of the Yankees has more than three regular-season at-bats against Josh Beckett. On May 9, he pitched in Yankee Stadium for the first time since Game 6 of the 2003 World Series and earned the 14-3 win, also his first start against the Yankees with the Red Sox.
  • Red Sox vs. Mike Mussina: Nine members of the Red Sox have at least 10 career at bats against Mussina, including Manny Ramirez, who has five homers and 14 RBIs in 86 at bats against the Yankees’ righthander. However, of the five who have at least 33 at bats against Mussina, none has an average above .238.
  • The Red Sox are in the midst of an 11-game stretch against clubs in first or second place…after taking 2 of 3 games this weekend against Detroit (leaders of the AL Central), the Red Sox play 4 games this week against the Yankees (one-half game out in the AL East) before hosting the AL West-leading Rangers this weekend.
  • Boston’s 27 games in June come against competition with a combined .531 winning percentage into tonight…by comparison, Boston’s 25-game schedule in April featured clubs currently owning a combined .479 winning percentage…Boston’s 26-game slate in May came against clubs currently owning a combined .517 winning percentage.
  • In the last month beginning May 5, the Red Sox bullpen boasts a 2.84 ERA (23 ER/73.0 IP), 15 holds and is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities…Red Sox relievers have converted their last 14 save chances beginning April 22, the only perfect bullpen in baseball in that span…since April 22, no team in baseball has fewer than 2 blown saves.
  • The Sox staff owns a 4.60 ERA overall, sixth in the AL…Sox pitchers have issued the third-fewest walks in the AL at 153. Starters have permitted 4 runs or fewer in 15 of the last 21 games…they rank ninth in the league with a 5.07 ERA overall. The bullpen has posted a 2.84 ERA (23 ER/73.0 IP) in the last 26 games…with a 3.60 ERA overall, the bullpen has the AL’s third-lowest ERA.
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