The Yankees last game against Boston this season has Ivan Nova (8-4 3.17 ERA) taking on the undefeated Clay Buchholz (10-0, 1.61 ERA.) Nova was limited to 79 pitches his last time out due to triceps tightness, but the Yankees believe he can stay in the rotation. He has faced Boston just once this year, allowing three runs in a four-inning start on September 5th. “You never want to tell your manager, because they can push you back or skip you, whatever,” Nova said Tuesday. “You just want to keep pitching.”
Buchholz’s return could not have gone any better. Pitching for the first time since June 8, he threw five shutout innings while outdueling David Price in a 2-0 win over the Rays.
Saturday’s 5-1 win over New York put Boston’s magic number at six to clinch the American League East title. Meanwhile, two straight losses have left the Yankees 2 1/2 games behind the Rays for the second AL Wild Card spot, and another defeat would further lengthen their odds at reaching the postseason.
Alfonso Soriano was scratched from the Bombers’ lineup Saturday with a sprained right thumb. The team announced the change just before first pitch, leaving the Yankees without a middle of the order bat in Saturday’s loss. The team also announced they have reinstated right hander David Phelps from the 60 day disabled list on Saturday, hoping to provide some relief for their worn out bullpen. Phelps has been out since July with a right forearm strain that he re-injured in August. Joe Girardi said Phelps, 6-5 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 appearances (12 starts), could work “as a one inning guy, maybe a little bit more than that.”
Notes on the game.
The Red Sox will honor Mariano Rivera, who will be making his last visit to Fenway Park before he retires at season’s end, in a pregame ceremony Sunday night. Fans are invited to take their seats at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Girardi hopes to use Alex Rodriguez as the Yankees’ designated hitter rather than give him a two day break with Monday’s off day.
First pitch at 8:05 PM on ESPN