It’s unusual for a series in early May to have this much hype. But that’s what happens when Boston visits the Bronx with the Red Sox and Yankees holding the two best records in baseball. Throw in a bench-clearing brawl when the teams met at Fenway last month, and we have a playoff atmosphere.
While the baseball should be high-caliber, Aaron Boone is not expecting Fight Night Round 2. “No. Not at all,” Boone said on Tuesday afternoon. “Obviously we’re getting ready to play a really good team but I think what happened is behind us and looking forward to hopefully just some really good baseball these next few days.”
The Yankees have won 15 of 16 but still find themselves in second place at the moment, one game behind the 25-9 Red Sox. Boston, not New York, is the two-time defending division champion. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the latest the teams have met in a season while each team has a winning percentage of .700 or higher. And this is the first time since June 2, 2002 that the Yankees and Red Sox are meeting with the two best records in baseball.
No, it’s not the ALCS. But this isn’t a ho-hum regular season game either.
“I understand there’s always going to be a lot of eyes when we get together and the fact that both teams are obviously playing really, really well I think is great for baseball and great for how special it is when the Red Sox and Yankees get together,” Boone said. “And I think everyone that’s involved in it appreciates the opportunity to play in these kind of games.”
This game will be on the MLB Network, and all the media in the city can be at Yankee Stadium as the Mets and Yankees are not both at home. And Boone gets to start his ace, Luis Severino.
No matter what happens tonight, Red Sox fans won’t like being reminded of Boone all night.