This is the second time this year the Red Sox have seen the Yankees this year. They opened up the season in New York; winning the series 2 – 1. Coming into the series, the Red Sox split the home/home series with the Phillies. It was an awful series. The Sox had great outings by the pitchers but the offense could not help. Game 1 – Boston 1 New York 4 I had a bad feeling about this game. New York came into this game after being swept by the Mets(!) and had their ace, Sabathia on the mound. Boston had Lester, their ace, but he was coming off one of his worst outings of the year. Notes from the game – While Sabathia’s velocity has been down and he had not been his normal dominant self, we saw the old Sabathia this evening. He went 7.1 innings, 6 hits, and 10 strikeouts. It’s very hard to lose a game with those numbers! He had great control throughout. I noticed that Chris Stewart, the Yankees catcher, did not have move his glove much. Lester, on the other hand, was all over the place. He went 6.1 innings, 6 hits, and 5 strikeouts. I noticed that Lester was not getting the close strike calls and was visually upset about it. Look at the Strikezone Plots from two of Lester’s outings this year. The first is opening day against the Yankees and the second is from this game. All graphs are from brooksbaseball.net As you can see, Lester was throwing more to the left hand side of the plate. It must have been an off night for Lester because his delivery did not look bad. If you noticed anything off, let me know in the comments. Highlight of the night : Pedrioa leads off the seventh inning with a double on a 0 – 1 count off of Sabathia. Ortiz hits a sacrifice to move Pedrioa to third. Napoli then doubles to bring in Pedrioa in for the Red Sox’s only run of the game. Game 2 Red Sox 11 – Yankees 1. I was so bummed I missed this game! Maybe I should skip games more? Felix Doubront was pitching and went 6 innings, 6 hits, and 1 earned run. He did walk 3 batters. Looking at the pitch/fx data, Doubront’s fastball was on point. 63.33% were strikes. 57.89% of his off speed pitches were strikes, his curve had a 21.05% whiff rate! Looking throughout his other outing, this is his highest rate for this pitch. From the boxscore, it looks like the replacement players played well. Jackie Bradley Jr went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and Jose Iglesias went 2 for 5. Iglesias has been great this season. He played earlier in the year before Ortiz came back. He was called up when Middlebrooks went on the DL with a back injury. I would like to see him replace Middlebrooks but, I doubt it will happen. Napoli hit a grand slam off of Philip Hughes in the third inning. Daniel Nava, who has been a great surprise this season, hit a three run homerun in the eighth. Here is Nava’s slashline .296/.398/.485 with an OPS+ of 134. Last year, in 88 games, his slashline was .243/.352/.390 with an OPS+ of 100. In his AAA career, his slashline was .280/.379/.438. Hopefully this means Nava has gotten over his nerves of being in the majors and does not regress for the rest of the season. Looking at his Fangraphs.com numbers, he is swinging more this season. His O-swing% is 24.0% (up from 19.6% last year), Z-swing% is 59.6% (up from 59.6%), and total swing% is 39.6% (up from 38.1%). His contact% is down as well, 83.5% vs. 84.7%. Basically, he is swing more at pitches outside of the zone, while making less contact. His babip is .326 so far this year, so he is also lucky with his batted balls. Regression candidate? Afraid so. Who has been your biggest surprise this year?