Here are five stats our broadcast crew will likely be talking about a lot during Sunday night’s contest.
1. The Yankees' first four series out of the All-Star break are against the division-leading Red Sox, the team with the fifth-best record in the AL (Texas Rangers), a Tampa Bay Rays team that entered Sunday having won 19 of 23 and a Los Angeles Dodgers team that entered Sunday with 19 wins in their last 24 games.
The Yankees are averaging 3.9 runs per game and have a .243 batting average, .307 on-base percentage and .376 slugging percentage. Each of those stats, if they hold through to season’s end, would be their worst in those categories since 1990.
2. Red Sox hitters have had a very sound approach this season. They lead the majors in pitches seen per at-bat (4.04).
Red Sox offense, last two seasons
Thirty percent of the balls they’ve hit this season have been to the opposite field, the highest rate in the majors.
The Red Sox are hitting .196 in two-strike counts, ranking third in the majors. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia leads the AL with a .294 batting average in two-strike counts in 2013.
3. CC Sabathia has thrown more than 42,000 pitches since 2001, the most of anyone in the major leagues. He’s thrown 1,637.1 innings since 2007 (including the postseason), more than 100 more than any other pitcher.
CC Sabathia fastballs by velocity
Sabathia’s fastball is averaging 90.6 mph, down 1.6 mph from last season, and down more than 3 mph from 2011. Opponents are hitting .300 against the pitch this season
He enters with a 5.44 ERA in seven starts at Fenway Park with the Yankees, his highest ERA in any ballpark since joining the team.
Sabathia will be trying to be the first Yankees starter to win a game on his birthday (he turns 33 today) since Joe Cowley in 1984. Before Cowley, Ron Guidry did it in 1977 and 1981.
4. Ryan Dempster enters this start with an 0-5 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.050 opponents’ OPS in six career starts against the Yankees. Since posting a 2.93 ERA in his first seven starts, Dempster has a 5.08 ERA. He’s gone six straight starts with fewer than five strikeouts. He hasn’t had a stretch of seven straight starts since 2002-03.
5. New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera earned his 57th regular-season save against the Red Sox on Saturday, giving him 30 more than the pitcher with the next-highest total against the Sox (Rick Aguilera).
Rivera has a 2.58 ERA and 35 regular-season saves at Fenway Park. There are only two visiting ballparks at which he’s had more saves: Camden Yards (41) and Tropicana Field (36).