The Boston Red Sox will play 4 in the Bronx this weekend, beginning tonight. As Larry noted yesterday, Boston will be without Kevin Youkilis, resident Yankee Killer. What was only speculation when Larry wrote the post is now official: Youk is out for the season.
I'm never one to count Boston out until the team is mathematically eliminated, but this may be all she wrote for the Red Sox' playoff hopes. Kevin Youkilis is not only Boston's best hitter, but with a .419 wOBA, he's the 5th best hitter in the big leagues. Losing Youk is just as devastating for Boston as losing Robinson Cano would be for the Yankees. While I love the intensity of a competitive three-way race in the AL East, injuries are a part of the game. This is a big break for the Yankees, and should be welcomed down the stretch.
Speaking of the race in the AL East, the Minnesota Twins survived a late innings Tampa comeback for the 2nd consecutive night. As a result, the Yankees will enter the series with Boston in sole possession of first place, without throwing a pitch.