The Yankees beat up the Rangers.  The Jays beat up the Red Sox.  Something’s gotta give in this three-game series where the two teams start tied for 2nd, 3 back of the O’s.

Buehrle is 35 and Kuroda 39, so there’ll probably be more savvy than power generated from the hill.  They have both had successful seasons, and look to continue leading their teams toward a possible postseason berth.  Who triumphs tonight?  Comment away.

Having dropped 3 to the Jays in a 4-game set (they trailed only by a run for the series total, 22-21, but only won the first game, 14-1), the Red Sox are behind the 8-ball and behind everyone else in the division.  We can only conclude that it’s really over and they should move any part that has no place in 2015 around as necessary…and possibly some parts that do have a place in 2015.

Take Jon Lester (and I’m sure the Yankees will): he could theoretically be moved to a contender for a few months and be brought back on board via free agency…but that seems risky if they have plans to extend/keep him (I doubt it, I think he’s a goner).  Same goes for Uehara and a couple of other good pieces that aren’t contracted past this year.  So theoretically, this could be Lester’s last start for the Red Sox.  He’s facing Price, so hey, at least it’ll be a good one!  Good old-fashioned, drain-circling fun!

Brandon McCarthy has given up only 4 earned runs in his last four starts spanning the last ~25 innings including his transit from Arizona. That said, it seems he’s having a rough go this year. The Rangers send Colby Lewis in the getaway gamer.

Comment away.

Sox took the first game in this series big-time, then got fairly soundly beaten in game two, then had Buchholz immediately squander a 3-0 lead in the 1st and a 4-3 lead in the 6th.  Rubby de la Rosa tries to turn it around and leave Toronto with the tie, while Stroman tries to take the series for the Blue Jays.  12:35 ET start.  Comment if you’re checking out the Thursday matinee.

R.A. Dickey and Clay Buccholz aren’t having stellar seasons, but either pitcher is a short-odds bet to give a stellar outing on any given start. Buccholz was brilliant two starts ago against Houston, and Dickey’s four-hit win in Anaheim was impressive. This could be fun for fans of the bump. Comment away.

Darvish vs. David in the third game of the series against the boys from Arlington. The Yankees needed 14 innings to score two runs yesterday. Fortunately, that’s more than the Rangers could muster. The Yankees are averaging 3.6 r/g since the break. Comment away.

Okay, the spelling isn’t perfect and it’s kind of a tortured title, but the Yanks acquired a real 3B today (at least as defense goes), and hope he will be the real deal.  Today, his fellow “Chase” attempts to reduce the number of Yankee starting pitcher errors from the baseline of 3 established yesterday.

The Red Sox rolled hard last night, climbing back to within 5 of .500.  Sadly, Jake Peavy is pitching for them today (he has been below average and has 1 win to his credit this year) against JA Happ, so I’d put odds on them to bust tonight.  Still, the offense clicked for 14 across the plate yesterday, maybe they’ll have a bit left today.  Ortiz still needs 1 to tie and 2 to go ahead of A-Rod for all-time visitor’s home run record at Rogers.  Let’s get one tonight, Papi.

Texas is 1-9 in their last 10, 6-24 in their last 30, and have the worst record in the majors. The Yankees will face Darvish in the third game of the set, but today they face Mike Mikolas, who along with Yankees starter Shane Greene have a combined 28 innings pitched this year. Comment away.

As the Sox continue to play rather well (winning 7 of the last 8 and sweeping the Royals to start the second half)…despite my logical belief that the season is over, my heart keeps insisting on prolonging the pain.  As John Updike once wrote about baseball (and perhaps simply about being human):

“Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around the corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope…”

No, I don’t think the Sox will be playing past the series where they say goodbye at last to Derek Jeter (unless things get really strange and our teams see each other past that point…), but my heart wills it to be so.

To keep my futile hope alive, the Sox need to win a lot of games.  They’d do well to start with this one where John Lackey toes the rubber against Hutchison.  Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.  At least get to within a couple of games so that it really, really hurts when they don’t make it!

Cueto faces Kuroda in the finale as the Yankees eye a sweep of the Reds, who are just 2.5 back of a crowded NL Central (St. Louis and Milwaukee are tied at the top, while the Pirates are tied with the Reds…poor Cubbies).  Meanwhile the Yankees and Blue Jays are only 4 back of the O’s.

With another win, the Sox will drag the Royals down to their level…well, under .500 anyway (the Red Sox are still 7 under).  They have won two 1-run contests in the series so far.  Will today’s Ventura/Lester showdown be as close?  Don’t worry, none of it’s likely to matter very much.  But winning with the kids is still nice.

Last night in the 6th, Xander took Shields yard for 2, and later in the inning, an aggressively early pinch-hit of Gomes for Bradley yielded the same results off lefty reliever Downs.  Sox won 5-4.  Berry berry nice.

Trying to earn their 6th win in the last 7 games, the Sox throw De La Rosa out there against Duffy.  Keep on rockin’ me, bullpen.

Early start today for these two teams.  Yankees took a one-run contest 4-3 yesterday.  Today it’s new Yankee hurler Brandon McCarthy vs. Alfredo Simon.  Merry Sabado to you.

I forgot all about baseball the last few days, enjoying some time with the family. So far the Yankees are keeping it tight with visiting Cincy, tied at 2 in the fifth. Welcome back, baseball.

Say what you will about a season with no postseason hopes: it’s better to watch losing baseball than not watch it at all.  Most days.  Maybe not if it’s a season like last year’s Astros’…

Anyway, heck of a matchup today between a Buchholz who seemed to find all his pitches on Sunday (and full velocity, regularly hitting 92/93 and touching 94) and James Shields.  A hungry Royals team fights a youth-filled Red Sox contingent.  I think it’s five rookies regularly in the lineup?  (Holt, Bradley, Betts, Bogaerts, Vazquez with Pedroia, Ortiz, Napoli, Drew and Gomes/Nava/Victorino-maybe-someday providing the vet presence).  Here’s to the second “half”.  Comment away.