Here we go again, this time on national television. The lineups:
RED SOX (63-47)
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (10-6, 4.48)
Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (13-5, 3.19)
Game time: 4:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: FOX/WEEI, WCBS
State of the Sox: Boston has won eight of 11 and starts the day five games out in the division and 4.5 games out in the wild card.
State of the ‘stripes: New York has lost five of seven and is 6-7 in its last 13 games. They lead the division by a half-game on the Rays.
State of the rivalry: The Yankees lead 5-4 this season and have won 14 of the last 19 meetings. But the Sox have won three of the last four games.
Looking to do it again: Lackey threw six shutout innings against the Yankees on April 7, allowing three hits. He is 5-7, 4.40 in 17 career starts against the Yankees.
Lackey vs. the Yankees (including postseason games): Jeter 19-61, 1 HR; Swisher 6-51; 20 K; Teixeira 21-56, 2 HR; Rodriguez 11-61, 4 HR; Cano 8-39; Posada 14-39; Granderson 3-14; Gardner 1-6; Berkman 1-3.
Mixed results: Sabathia is 5-5, 3.56 in 14 career starts against the Red Sox. He has already faced the Sox three times this season, going 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA.
CC vs. the Sox (including postseason): Ellsbury 1-13; Scutaro 8-24; Ortiz 10-34, 2 HR; Martinez 4-19; Drew 4-17; Beltre 1-19; Hall 1-11; McDonald 1-7.
Can’t buy one: Jacoby Ellsbury is 0 for 12 since coming off the disabled list and 0 for 18 going back to May. Going further back, he has one hit in his last 26 at-bats. The skid has him hitting .196 on the season.
Shortstop comparison: Scutaro has 453 at-bats. He’s at .278/.339/.384. Jeter has had 450 at-bats. He’s at .280/.343/.393. The biggest difference? Scutaro is costing the Red Sox $5.5 million this year and Jeter will cost the Yankees $21 million.
Streaking on: Adrian Beltre has hit safely in 12 straight games at 17 of 50 (.340). He has hit safely in 19 of 21 games since the All-Star break at 30 of 86 (.349).
The perils of Papelbon: Will the Sox have their closer today? Jonathan Papelbon has thrown 42 pitches the last two days.
Other stuff: Ryan Kalish is 9 of 21 since coming up. … Mike Lowell is 3 for 12 since emerging from seclusion. … Jed Lowrie quietly put up an .808 OPS since coming back. … The team ERA (4.12) is the lowest it has been all season. … David Ortiz has hit four homers in his last six road games. … The Sox have won four straight and six of eight away from Fenway.
On the iPod right now: She Loves The Sunset by Old 97’s.
Back with much more later on including a live in-game blog.