July 6, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
Most baseball fans have been conditioned to care about any series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, whether it matters much or not.
Fortunately, their four-game series prior to the All-Star break has meaning, especially for a Red Sox team that still lacks a definite identity.
The second half of the season couldn’t come fast enough for the Red Sox, and the return of two key players is still greatly anticipated. Without Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford for pretty much the entire season, Boston has floundered, just playing well enough to stay relevant.
But these upcoming four games against the Yankees—the teams play a doubleheader Saturday—could make Boston’s pre-break first half a success or a disaster. The Red Sox go into this series with second baseman Dustin Pedroia at less than full strength because of a thumb injury.
Entering the series, the Red Sox are 7 ½ games behind New York with Baltimore and Tampa Bay also ahead of them in the standings. Win this series, and the Red Sox will be happy with their position. Ellsbury and Crawford hope to return shortly after the break, giving Boston two major acquisitions before the trade deadline without making a trade.