It's Not the Yankees' Year Against the Red Sox

Sabathia, Rivera flop and Sox take another series

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Some would argue it is too soon for a "Black Swan" remake, but not the Red Sox.

    If you were still looking for confirmation that this isn't the Yankees' year when it comes to playing the Red Sox, you got it in the ninth inning on Sunday night.

    A 2-1 lead and Mariano Rivera on the mound is usually enough to make John Sterling blow his horn, but going to Mo turned out badly for the Yankees. He blew a save against the Red Sox for the 14th time in his career, paving the way for a 3-2 Red Sox win and a 2-10 record for the Yankees against their rivals this season.

    Rivera isn't the only Yankee pitcher who has a hard time with Boston. CC Sabathia got crushed by the Sox for the fourth time this season on Saturday afternoon, dropping him to 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against Boston in a year when he is 16-2 with a 2.12 ERA against the rest of baseball.

    Rivera and Sabathia are supposed to be the two Yankee pitchers you can count on in this season of questions about the rest of the staff. It didn't turn out that way this weekend.

    Other Yankee pitchers, especially the bullpen, pulled rabbits out of their hats all over the place while it was the two biggest names that came up short. These things happen, especially in years when the Yankees can't catch a break against the Red Sox.

    Here's what else we learned during a long weekend in Boston:

    1. Joe Girardi has a creative way of solving the rotation logjam. Phil Hughes came in for the 10th and the loss on Sunday night, which means he won't be starting as planned on Tuesday night against the Angels.

    Girardi hasn't said whether Ivan Nova or A.J. Burnett will take his place, but the Yankees will be back to the five-man rotation for at least this week. The manager also hasn't said what they'll do after that, so you have to assume Nova will be pitching for his job again this week.

    2. Another Jorge Posada drama cropped up in the hours before a nationally televised game with the Red Sox. Girardi told Posada Sunday that he won't be getting any turns at DH in the immediate future because Posada isn't part of the team's best lineup.

    Posada was, as you'd expect, a bit dismayed by this news although he handled it better than getting dropped to ninth by Girardi before another night game against Boston. The two episodes should blend nicely for a scathing chapter about Girardi in Posada's memoir about life with the Yankees. 

    3. Eric Chavez will be taking over most of the at-bats that used to go to Posada. That means we're going to get plenty of chances to look at him on the screen and do a brief double-take before realizing that his mustache doesn't belong to 1987 Don Mattingly.

    4. A-Rod is on track to play in a rehab game on Friday and if all goes well he'll be back with the Yankees on Aug. 15 against the Royals. He also won't be facing any punishment from Major League Baseball from playing poker.

    5. While A-Rod's case is closed, we wonder if Joe Torre might not be hearing from his boss at the league offices. In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, former Yankee batboy Luis Castillo (not this Luis Castillo) revealed that Torre's office TV was usually tuned to the OTB channel so that he could get results of races delivered to him during games.

    The rest of the excerpt was pretty much what you'd expect. A-Rod is a diva, albeit one that tips well, and Derek Jeter walks on water.

    6. The calls for Jesus Montero's promotion will likely grow now that the Yankees have pulled the plug on Posada, although they might be drowned out by Manny Banuelos desire before too long. Banuelos struck out five and didn't walk anyone in six innings for Scranton, numbers that could put him in the bullpen mix if they continue popping up on the screen.

    7. Finally, this isn't something we learned about the Yankees, but something we learned about vendors at Fenway Park. They hate beer, therefore they hate America and you should feel fine about adding them to the list of things to despise about the Red Sox.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.