CC Sabathia (10-10, 4.66 ERA) leads the Yankees against Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.50 ERA) and the Sox in the rubber match tonight at Fenway. Sabathia has struggled with his command and velocity for much of the season. In his last outing against the Angels, he allowed three runs on three hits in six innings, but he also walked six batters. Heading into Sunday’s series finale, Sabathia is coming off two solid starts but still has a 4.66 ERA that is well above his norm since joining the Yankees in 2009. That has made the ace subject to some criticism, but he’s taking on his next assignment with his focus on silencing the doubters. “You know when I’m out there and I’m playing, I’m not thinking about what people think about me or what’s going on,” Sabathia said. “I’m thinking about trying to making a good pitch and helping the team win. I get to go out there every time out and try to change people’s opinion of me, so hopefully I can do that.”
Dempster pitched his best game in weeks in his last start, giving up four hits and just one run over seven innings against the Blue Jays. He left with a lead, but wound up getting a no decision. Opponents are hitting .257 against him.
Alfonso Soriano might not have been able to continue his amazing run of RBIs on Saturday, but he had two more hits to keep his hot streak going with five consecutive multi hit games. Before his two hit game Saturday, he’d had at least three hits in his last four games, the first Yankee to do so since Johnny Damon. He’d also registered 18 RBIs over those four games, one of six players ever to accomplish that, four of them Yankees. “He’s got a chance to do some damage,”Joe Girardi said. “That’s the guy he’s been his whole career, since the day we saw him. He’s got a lot of power and he has the ability to change games.”
Notes on the game.
The Red Sox now lead the season series, 7-4.
The Yankees are 10-5 in their last 15 games at Fenway Park, 2-3 this season.
Once this series is over, the rivals will meet again September 5-8 in the Bronx and September 13-15 at Boston.
First pitch at 8:05 PM on ESPN.