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Game 142: Yankees at Red Sox

Aaron Judge and the misfit toys

Texas Rangers v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Are you ready for a reverse lock? You know you are. Especially in September 2022 with this Red Sox team.

Nick Pivetta aka “The Ace of June” takes the mound tonight against Aaron Judge and the New York Clown Car. Sure, this car may be in first place but outside of Judge, there really isn’t much happening. The aforementioned Pivetta has faced New York three times this season and has turned opposing hitters into, well, basically Aaron Judge. The Gentle Giant is hitting .307/.410/.679 for a 1.090 OPS this year and generic Yankees collectively are hitting .333/.415/.702 or an 1.117 OPS. What. Bench him in your fantasy league playoffs or change your name to Han Solo.

Of course. Of course this is going to be a blowout. Although, since last facing the Yankees on July 16, Pivetta has put together a rather solid set of 9 starts. Over 47.1 innings he’s allowed 49 hits, 20 runs, 20 walks, and recorded 44 strikeouts. That’s a 3.80 ERA/4.24 FIP. And two of Pivetta’s three starts against the Bombers? They were back-to-back; July 10th and 16th. If he was just having a bad week the 13 runs over 7.2 innings might be explained away. The start before those Yankees games? On July 5th? Pivetta faced the Tampa Bay Rays and was rocked for 7 runs in 5.2 innings. It’s impossible to look at his three worst starts of the year and wonder if something else was going on besides his opponent crushing the ball.

The Yankees counter with Gerrit Cole who is leading the league in strikeout with 218 over 171.1 innings. Mirroring Pivetta, Cole has made three starts against Boston heading into tonight. Two were good efforts but July 7th saw Cole give up 5 runs in 6 innings. The Yankees, of course, won 6-5. Back when the Sox were still in the race and this was the start of a dark summer.

For their part, hitting Aaron Judge first is a bold move. Give your best guy the most times up.

Rafael Devers is coming out of his post-IL slump with a .333/.421/.546 line in September.

Xander Bogaerts is still leading the batting title race with a .319 average entering play.

Alex Verdugo is having another good month giving him a slow start in April and May, a hot June, down July, and back to hitting in August and September. If he’s the .880 OPS guy of those months, great. As the low .600s OPS player in the bad months, ouch.

The Sox have, mostly, hit. Their 4.57 runs per game trails only the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the American League. Their 4.80 runs allowed per game tops only the Kansas City Royals.

Game 142: Yankees at Red Sox

Lineup spot Yankees Red Sox
Lineup spot Yankees Red Sox
1 Aaron Judge, CF Tommy Pham, LF
2 Giancarlo Stanton, DH Alex Verdugo, RF
3 Gleyber Torres, 2B Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Josh Donaldson, 3B Rafael Devers, 3B
5 Oswaldo Cabrera, RF J.D. Martinez, DH
6 Mighel Andújar, LF Christian Arroyo, 2B
7 Isah Kiner-Falefa, SS Triston Casas, 1B
8 Jose Trevino, C Kiké Hernández, CF
9 Marwin Gonzalez, 1B Reese McGuire
SP Gerrit Cole, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP