Friday, April 10, 2015

Rivalry front and center as Red Sox take on Yankees

The richest rivalry in baseball starts anew Friday night at Yankee Stadium, when the Red Sox come to town for a three-game series.
Both starting pitchers -- Red Sox lefty Wade Miley and Yankees righty Nathan Eovaldi -- will make their debuts for their new teams.
The best matchup of the weekend will be Sunday night, when Clay Buchholz faces Masahiro Tanaka. This is the first of 18 meetings between the rivals in 2015. The Yankees open a three-game series at Fenway Park on May 1.
What to watch for:
• Miley is a sinkerballer who prides himself on working quick and giving his team innings. The lefty has made just one previous start at Yankee Stadium, allowing four hits and three runs over 6 2/3 innings. Manager John Farrell noted that Miley's curveball seems to be becoming a bigger weapon.
• Eovaldi led the National League with 223 hits allowed last season while pitching for the Marlins, but he has worked with pitching coach Larry Rothschild to harness his high-velocity arsenal. Eovaldi said he will try to elevate his fastball and incorporate his splitter, a relatively new pitch for him, against Boston. He also plans to snap off a few first-pitch curveballs.
• Catcher Sandy Leon will make his first regular-season start for the Red Sox following a trade that brought him over from the Nationals at the end of Spring Training. Leon possesses a strong arm and a good rapport with pitchers. The switch-hitter is a .189 hitter in 95 career at-bats.

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