August 10, 2009

Boston Massacre III

Here’s some history in short:

  • March 5, 1770: Five civilians killed by British troops in Boston Massacre.
  • Sept. 7-10, 1978: Yankees sweep four-game series against Red Sox and outscore them 42-9 (known as Boston Massacre).
  • Aug. 18-21, 2006: Yankees sweep five-game series against Red Sox to extend AL East lead to 6.5 games (known as Boston Massacre II).
  • Aug. 6-9, 2009: Yankees sweep four-game series against Red Sox to extend AL East lead to 6.5 games despite heading into the series 0-8 against the Red Sox.

The most recent sweep of the Red Sox fits in seamlessly with the rest of the Boston Massacres, and will be remembered as the third Boston Massacre in Yankees history.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the series:

Game Red Sox Starter Yankees Starter Outcome
1. John Smoltz Joba Chamberlain 13-6
2. Josh Beckett A.J. Burnett 2-0 (15)
3. Clay Buchholz CC Sabathia 5-0
4. Jon Lester Andy Pettitte 5-2

Red Sox Category Yankees
0 Wins 4
8 Runs 25
25 Hits 46
2 Errors 1
3 Home Runs 9
.174 BA .299
.300 OBP .386
.250 SLG .526
4.24 Starters ERA 1.31
8.21 Bullpen ERA 2.45
28 Strikeouts 41
0 Advantage 11

I tried to find a category the Red Sox had an advantage, but I couldn’t do it (please correct me if you find one).

This series was extremely important to the Yankees because they had to prove that they could beat the Red Sox. They did that, and did it convincingly.

The Yankee Stadium crowd (194,253 cumulative attendance) was as loud as ever, creating the best possible atmosphere for a pivotal series.

The only damper on the Yankees heading in to the series was their poor record against teams above .500, but this sweep immediately silences that discussion (if there ever was one).

The Yankees have already played six straight days and have 10 more to go, including seven on the west coast. The fact that they’ve won seven in a row gives them the supreme confidence they need to finish a tough stretch.

The sweep may have secured a playoff spot for the Yankees and put the Red Sox in a tie for the wild card with the Rangers. The 6.5 game lead in the East is the largest deficit between any first and second place teams in the majors.

The only thing the Yankees have to do now is beat the Red Sox at Fenway. They will get that opportunity on Aug. 21.

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