Andy Pettitte will take the ball for the second time since skipping a start due to shoulder fatigue. Against the Angels, he wasn't dominant but was efficient, meeting the minimum requirements for a quality start (6IP, 3ER) and needing only 91 pitches to get through those six frames. While Andy's last start did alleviate some of the worry surrounding his status for the postseason, another solid outing would certainly further that cause.
As he did last year, Paul Byrd joined the Red Sox in August. However in 2008, he was exchanged in a waiver wire deal with the Indians but this season Byrd hadn't pitched for another team at all before signing with the Sox. At 38 years old, the soft tosser probably didn't have enough gas to make it through an entire season but the Sox brass felt he could help for the stretch run after they cut ties with both Brad Penny and John Smoltz.
In his first start, Byrd was solid, throwing six shutout innings but in his 4 outings since has given up 34 hit and 17ER in 19IP while striking out 8 and walking 8. He last faced the Royals on Tuesday and gave up 5 runs in the first inning but recovered to throw 5 2/3 scoreless after that.
According to PeteAbe, the tarp is off the field and they should be primed for a start close to 1:00. [Update: 1:16] Not so much... the game is being delayed as there are a couple of patches of rain currently over New Jersey but the coast appears to be clear after that. [Update: 1:40] According to various tweets start time is tentatively scheduled for 2:05.
Since Yom Kippur begins at sundown tonight, the three major New York sports teams in action have been bunched into action at 1:00 so as to cater to the large Jewish population in the New York area and avoid conflict with the most solemn of the Hebrew holidays. The Yanks and Sox were originally scheduled to play on Sunday Night but were moved to the early afternoon. The Giants visit Tampa Bay and the Jets play the Titans, which should probably lead to some furious channel changing throughout the overlapping fan bases.
I know I said that I didn't really want the Yankees to sweep in the preview on Friday night, but now that the blood is in the water, superstition and the Law of Averages be damned. No one wants to see the Yanks celebrate against the Royals tomorrow. Let's drive the nail into the coffin, reach the century mark, complete the sweep, even the season series and knock all this symbolism out in one fell swoop.
I've got a symbol in my driveway,
I've got a hundred million dollar friends,
I've got you a brand new weapon,
Let's see how destructive we can be.