Michael Pineda (0-1, 1.50 ERA) gets the honors of kicking off the rivalry for the 2014 season against Clay Buchholz (0-0, 12.46 ERA) and the Red Sox. The Yanks waited a long time to see Pineda and he gave them a lot to be excited about. He limited Toronto to one run on five hits over six innings walking none and striking out five. “I’m very happy about everything, because everything is doing good, and that’s what I’m looking for,” said Pineda. “I’ve been working hard for the last two years to be here, and I’m happy with it.”
During the Brewers’ sweep of the Sox, Buchholz gave up six runs on six hits, including two homers. He hopes to bounce back against the Yanks, a team he hasn’t pitched well against in the past. He has a 5.32 career ERA and 1.60 WHIP against the rivals. “I don’t think you see true velocity built until you get into the month of May and see how they maintain it over the course of the entire outing,” said Sox Manager John Farrell. “Regardless of what a pitcher has, it still comes down to location.”
Sparky Lyle, Luis Tiant, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Don Baylor, and Johnny Damon all know what it’s like to don the pinstripes after wearing the B. Now it’s Jacoby Ellsbury‘s turn. Thursday’s game will mark the first time in his nine year career that he will face the Red Sox, and his former team knows what he is capable of. “Obviously the biggest thing is keeping him off the base,” said Farrell. “He can create a lot of havoc. It was fun to see him in your own uniform. As dynamic a player as he can be, he’s going to benefit from the dimensions in that ballpark. But I think we’ve got a pretty clear understanding of where his strengths are and how we execute to that will be the key for us just trying to control him.”
“He’s just a high caliber center fielder, high caliber leadoff guy,” said Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. “It will be a little bit interesting for the core guys who have seen him in a Red Sox uniform their whole life. I think there’s a lot more stories in between the lines than that one. It will be a good series.”
Check out the Ellsbury Factor here
This is the first of 19 meetings between the rivals this season.
Notes on the game
No Boston hitter has more than three career at bats against Pineda.
Grady Sizemore has two homers and five RBIs in 39 career at bats at Yankee Stadium.
Derek Jeter had his 12,000th plate appearances Wednesday. The 18th player in MLB history to reach the milestone.
Yangervis Solarte is on a 7 game hitting streak.
First pitch at 7:05 PM on Yes