The All-Star Game brought a lot of great memories for Yankees’ fans at Citi Field. Even though there was the scare of Robinson Cano being hit in the quad by a Matt Harvey fastball, the fear was wiped away when watching Mariano Rivera enter to “Enter Sandman” for the last time in an All-Star game. It brought goosebumps to every fan, Yankees or not, to see Rivera all alone on the dugout getting the recognition that he deserves. Now, the Yankees (51-44) have to get to set to start the second half of their regular season. As Alex Rodriguez is nearing closer to returning to the Bronx, the return of Derek Jeteris still up in the air as general manager Brian Cashman will decide Friday whether to put Jeter back in the lineup or on the disabled list till at least July 27th. With the Yankees facing a stretch of 15 road games in their next 18, it is critical to start gaining some ground against some of the top teams. Their chance starts this weekend up in Fenway Park against one of the surprise teams in the American League this season.
The Boston Red Sox (58-39) have built a six game lead on the New York Yankees in the American League. This means that the Yankees can ill afford to get swept in this series if they want to keep their division hopes alive. For Boston, they boast the league’s best offense in terms of runs and on-base percentage, but John Farrell‘s club still has some concerns as they begin the second half. Despite the surprising good first half from John Lackey (4th in ERA), and shortstop Jose Iglesias (.367 average), the team is looking for Jon Lester to turn back into a front-of-the-line starter, Clay Buchholz to return from injury (no starts since June 8th), and to find an answer at closer going forward. The Red Sox also begin a stretch of ten straight games against divisional opponents, so they have a chance to either widen the gap in the division or create for themselves a tighter AL East.
On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, presented by BaldVinny.com, I talk about my reflections on the All-Star Game at Citi Field, A-Rod’s return to the team on Monday, and the impact of Derek Jeter possibly missing more time. Then, Paul Prims from Bosox Injection joins me to talk about the Red Sox’s surprising first half, potential trades the team could make, and players to watch in the second half. Also, we disagree heavily on how the CC Sabathia-Jon Lester showdown will end on Sunday night, so tune in!