The matchup

October 12, 2004|By Mike Berardino | Mike Berardino,South Florida Sun-Sentintel

The matchup

Records: Red Sox 98-64, AL wild card; Yankees, 101-61, AL East champions.

Season series: Red Sox won, 11-8.

Managers: Terry Francona is in his first year with the Red Sox and is 3-0 in the postseason. Joe Torre is 887-567 (.610) in nine seasons with the Yankees, 68-31 (.687) in the postseason.

Series surprise: Red Sox 1B Kevin Millar hit .322 with five homers and 10 RBIs against the Yankees this year. He reached base 44 percent of the time and has hit .364 in 11 career at-bats against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Arms race: During the regular season the Red Sox outpitched the Yankees, at least on paper. They ranked third in league ERA and starters' ERA and were tied for third in bullpen ERA. The Yankees ranked sixth, sixth and ninth, respectively, in those categories.

Shaky Rivera: The Yankees closer blew just four saves in 57 chances during the regular season, but two came against Boston (in five tries).

Stay calm: Don Zimmer isn't around to charge Pedro Martinez anymore, but history tells you tempers will flare at some point in the series. The team that does the better job of channeling its emotions will have an advantage.

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