The Boston Red Sox (36-44) continue their series against the New York Yankees (41-37) at the tail end of their current road trip. The Yankees blanked the Sox last night, extending their dominance over Boston to a 2-6 record this season.
Brandon Workman struggled for the first time since joining the rotation, giving up a season high 4 runs and was taken deep twice for the first time all season. He's only given up 4 HRs total this year. With so much uncertainty surrounding the Red Sox rotation, now was not the time for Workman to be at anything less than his best, but his spot in the rotation is probably safe for now.
- Jon Lester (8-7, 3.14 ERA) gets the start for Boston. He's been dominant over his last 3 starts, giving up a total of only 4 runs over his last 21.2 innings. However, his last time facing the Yankees didn't go as smoothly. Lester gave up 8 runs (3 Earned) when he faced them at Fenway back in April.
- As reported earlier, the Red Sox have promoted top hitting prospect Mookie Betts. He has already joined the team in New York, but isn't in tonight's starting lineup. You want the rookie to get off to a good start and thrusting him into a debut in Yankee Stadium against one of the league's best starting pitchers isn't a great way to do that. Still, the timing of his promotion seems odd if they don't intend to use him. He could still be available off the bench tonight.
- Rubby De La Rosa has been optioned back to Pawtucket to make room on the roster for Betts. Given how well he's pitched, the demotion is unwarranted, but unfortunately he was the easiest choice since he still has options left. There is still a strong possibility that Boston is seeking a trade partner to take one of their surplus starters (likely Jake Peavy) to open a spot back up for De La Rosa. We'll see him back up in Boston later this season.
- Masahiro Tanaka (11-2, 2.11 ERA) will be on the mound for New York. The Japanese import has been every bit as good as advertised in his debut season, while running away with the Rookie of the Year vote thus far. He's even in the conversation for the Cy Young award at the rate he's going. Tanaka leads the AL in wins and ERA, plus he's tied for 4th in strikeouts. Not bad for a rookie – even one who had played professionally in Japan.
- Former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has been heating up lately with his new team, hitting a team best .323/.390/.430 in June. He only has 4 HRs this season but half of them have come this month. The long ball typically hasn't been a big part of his game anyway, but the speedy outfielder is tied for second in the AL with 21 steals. He still may not live up to that big contract in the long run, but it's fair to say that he's been just a bit better than his replacement, Jackie Bradley, Jr.