(Sports Network) - If the New York Yankees somehow find their way into the
playoffs they may look back to the night when Boston's Ryan Dempster hit Alex
Rodriguez as the turning point in their season.
Emotions should be running high on Thursday when the Yankees continue their
improbable push towards the postseason with the first of four games against
the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Including its come from behind win that night at Fenway Park back on Aug. 18,
New York has won 12 of 17 and heads into this series just 2 1/2 games back of
the final wild card spot in the American League, but are eight behind the Red
Sox in the AL East.
"I think time is always good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of any
remaining emotion. "I think that obviously we know what's at stake, and we
have to go out and play the games and win the games. That's the most important
New York heads into this series following a three-game sweep of the Chicago
White Sox and opens the crucial set with right-hander Ivan Nova, who was
rewarded on Wednesday as the American League's Pitcher of the Month for
Nova is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA over his last six starts, but none were better
than his last outing on Saturday when he tossed the first shutout of his
career against the Baltimore Orioles, improving him to 8-4 on the year to go
along with a 2.88 ERA.
He's 2-1 with a 4.94 ERA in five career starts versus Boston.
Nova may have his hands full on Thursday after an offensive explosion from the
Red Sox on Wednesday that saw them hit eight home runs in a 20-4 shellacking
of the Detroit Tigers.
David Ortiz went deep twice and knocked in four runs for the Red Sox, who took
two of three from the Tigers and have won nine of their last 11 thanks to
exploding for a season-high in runs scored.
"It was a rare and outstanding offensive night tonight," Red Sox manager John
Dempster (8-9) gave up four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and two
walks over six innings for the victory.
On Thursday, the Red Sox turn to righty Jake Peavy, who has won his last two
starts and is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA in six starts since being acquired from
After a complete-game win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Peavy beat his former
team, the White Sox, on Saturday, holding them to a pair of runs in seven
Overall, he's 11-5 with a 3.91 ERA.
Boston has won seven of its 12 matchups with the Yankees this season.
The Sports Network