What to watch for - Yankess-Red Sox 2009: Episode 58
No, you're not suffering from déjà vu. This really is happening again. So, here's what/who to watch for:
A sweep: With a sweep, the Yankees would clinch the division. They would then celebrate right in front of the Red Sox.
As always Joba Chamberlain: He's been awful lately, and this weekend will have a "playoff atmosphere," as the announcers like to say. If he mucks it up tomorrow, Chamberlain could give away his starting spot to the surprising Chad Gaudin — owner of three straight solid starts and a respectable 11/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Jon Lester: Forget about Josh Beckett (until the playoffs), Lester, tonight's starter against Joba Chamberlain is the man to fear in Boston. Since the beginning of August, Lester has pitched nine consecutive quality starts.
Kevin Youkilis: As long as Sunday's game doesn't go until sundown, Youkilis will play the whole series. Youkilis sports an on-base percentage above .400, and slugs .542.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira: Still battling for the right to come in 2nd in the MVP voting.
Brett Gardner: You know he's going to steal — but if he happens to get on base and Jason Varitek is catching for the Red Sox, it will be like giving the speedy youngster free bases.
Mariano Rivera: He's let five men on base in his last 2.2 innings of work. Normal for other pitchers, not so much for Mo.
Jonathan Papelbon: In 7 innings against the Yankees this year, Papelbon has surrendered 0 runs and just three hits. Yikes!
Also check out....
The Hispanic Baseball Festival: The first event ever organized by the brand new 161 St. Business Improvement District, the Hispanic Baseball Festival will feature an appearance by Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda. Sunday, from 10-4, at the Lou Gehrig Plaza (across the street from the Court Building).
NOTE: Make sure to check back on Fridays for The Yankees, Unobstructed, BNN's weekly Yankees opinion column.
For more of Graham Kates' sports writing, check out his True/Slant blog "Coaches in the Crosshairs" (http://trueslant.com/grahamkates).