The New York Yankees will counter ace left-hander Chris Sale with a southpaw of their own, sending J.A. Happ to the mound against the Red Sox for Game 1 of the teams’ American League Division Series on Friday night at Fenway Park in Boston.
Happ hasn’t lost since joining the Yankees via trade from the Toronto Blue Jays in July. He’s 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts for New York.
More important, Happ went 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts against the Red Sox between the Yankees and Blue Jays during the regular season. He faced Boston last Friday, allowing four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts over six innings.
For his career, Happ is 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) against the Red Sox.
The 35-year-old is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 10 post season games (three starts).
The Yankees used ace right-hander Luis Severino to get past the Oakland Athletics in Wednesday’s AL wild-card game. They will start right-hander Masahiro Tanaka in Game 2 opposite Red Sox lefty David Price.
Sale will start Game 1 for Boston despite his velocity hovering much lower than usual in his final start of the regular season on Sept. 26. He spent two separate stints on the DL due to mild left shoulder inflammation during the second half of the season.
“I don’t care what I have on a given day, I should be able to find a way with whatever I have,” Sale said Thursday. “Sometimes you go out there and have your best, sometimes you don’t. This is sport. This is baseball. You have to find a way with whatever you have on any given day and roll with it. So I take the ball tomorrow and I expect to win.”
—Field Level Media