The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will meet in a brief but important two game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both organizations have not gotten off to a start that either would have preferred. On one side, New York is already beset with injuries to the starting lineup. In contrast, Boston appears to be experiencing a World Series slump. Neither situations are particularly troublesome, especially this early in the season, but both will want to tap into the classic rivalry to jump start their 2019 season.
Tonight’s game will see Chris Sale face off against James Paxton. Sale will be itching to turn around a horrid start to his third season with the Red Sox. Sale is winless in three starts this season and has posted a 9.00 ERA. There is a great deal of concern that Sale has lost his velocity, which was a crucial component to his pitching repertoire. He has only struck out eight batters over the span of thirteen innings. For a club that is currently 6-10 on the season, Boston simply can not afford for Sale to suddenly lose his quality. Sale is also averaging 11.1 H9, which is far greater than anything he has posted during his career.
James Paxton has not fared much better for New York. He currently has 1-2 record with a 6.00 ERA. Paxton also has a career high average of 12.0 H9 and 1.8 HR9. While it is early in the season and these statistics could drastically change over the coming months, the former Seattle Mariner was quite poor against the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros. Paxton’s issues are less troublesome than those of Sale, and would be favored in tonight’s game.
The New York Yankees struggles thus far in 2019 are a lot more the result of injury than Boston’s obstacles. The Bronx Bombers are hardly bombers anymore with Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton resigned to the injured list. Not to mention the injuries of Troy Tulowitski, Luis Severino, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, and Dellin Betances. This list is undeniably extensive and the fact that New York is 6-9 shows the quality of the depth that the club possesses.
The current series is perhaps more important to Boston’s momentum as the club just needs a strong series to get the players going. Mookie Betts is hitting a disappointing .222 and there are only four players, who have played over 15 games, averaging above .250. Chris Sale is not the only pitcher to be struggling on the mound. Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi both have ERAs over 8.00 while allowing 33 combined runs. This perplexing start across the entirety of the team could be turned around by Alex Cora through the remainder of April.
This two game series may be short, but the implications could be vast and momentous. Wednesday’s matchup will also be pitting two struggling pitchers in Eovaldi and J.A. Happ against one another in the Bronx. Although the MLB season is still young, it is never too early to get a run going. Otherwise, the Tampa Bay Rays just might win the AL East.
Photo Credit-Unsplash: Dan Gold