Confident Yankees in Fenway Park to win, Red Sox ready with trap

Yankees to play Red Sox at Fenway Park

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The Yankees are set to resume their rivalry with the Red Sox at Fenway Park for the last time this season on Tuesday. Out of contention to slide into New York’s worst collapse and fresh from their thrashing of the Rays, Boston expects to face a fierce New York performance. The Yankees have won six of their last eight games. After the big series win over Tampa Bay, they have a sense of belief to pull back themselves from the August meltdown. Still, Tampa Bay is only 5½ games in the AL East division with 21 games left to play. The lead was once 15½ games in favor of the Yankees. Since the All-Star break, the Yankees are 21-28, which is worse than the Red Sox, who are in last place but notched up 21-27 in the same period.
“They’re still in first place,” Sox manager Alex Cora warned and added, “That’s something people forget with all this. I’ve been hearing the Mets are collapsing. They’re not collapsing. It’s just the Braves have played better.”
The Yankees traveling to Boston are not the same team that had beaten back the Red Sox. Fifteen of their players, who played earlier, were on the injured list. Andrew Benintendi is struggling with a wrist injury while Anthony Rizzo suffers from spinal issues. Luis Severino is playing rehab games. Matt Carpenter, Aroldis Chapman, and DJ LeMahieu are also out.   
“With the injuries and everything else, it’s been hard for them, believes Cora. He added, “It’s still a good pitch and the lineup is very different from when the season was half over.”
Then there’s the problem with Aaron Judge. He is hitting .307 and has 55 home runs. His OPS is 1.090. He has 30 RBIs in 37 games since August 1 and an OPS of 1.189. This season, Cora has only given 15 intentional walks, and none of them were comparable to Judge. Could that change in the last six games they play against each other?
“We’ll pick and choose; I saw this with [Barry] Bonds; you get caught up with walking guys and the next guy hits a three-run homer,” a confident Cora told and continued, “Judge is locked in right now, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job with him this season.”
In 12 games against the Sox this season, Judge has a .904 OPS and three home runs. In 36 regular-season games at Fenway Park, he has hit six home runs in 146 at-bats, giving him an OPS of .628. During the 2018 AL Division Series, he hit two home runs and went 6 for 13 in the postseason. Since Judge’s rookie year in 2016, the Sox have walked him on purpose twice in 78 games, but never at Fenway Park. The Last one was on June 30, 2019. Roger Maris set the American League record for home runs with 61 in 1961. Cora wants Judge to break that record.
“It would be great for the game if he did it,” Cora said. He also told, “He seems like a great kid who is also very humble; he hasn’t been distracted by anything, like contract talks or trying to reach the home run mark.”
On Tuesday, Nick Pivetta is set to start. In 13 innings this season against the Yankees, he has given up 17 earned runs. For the Yankees, Gerrit Cole will start. Cole has a record of 10 earned runs in three games against Boston spanning over 17 innings. Yu Chang added to the roster Yu Chang, a 27-year-old infielder, is likely to be on the Boston roster on Tuesday. The Red Sox earlier signed him after the player ended his contract with the Rays. Chang will play this season for his fourth team. He first played for the Guardians, but on May 30, he was traded to the Pirates. On July 5, the Rays picked him up after he was put on waivers. Over 58 games, he has hit .216 with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .605. But the greatest factor in having Chang is his ability. He is a good defender at all four infield positions. He played 36 games for the Rays and had a.690 OPS before being cut to make room for Wander Franco when he came off the injured list. The move has nothing to do with the fact that Trevor Story left Sunday’s game in Baltimore after he hurt his left ankle. Outfielder Jaylin Davis was put on waivers so that Chang could be added to the 40-man roster. In the Sox’s first 12 games this season, Davis went 8 for 24 with two RBIs. In 86 Triple-A games this year, he has hit .212. To make room on the 28-person active roster on Tuesday, the team will have to make another change. Can Boston checkmate a resurgent New York? Will the Yankees fall back again or trash the Red Sox?

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