Wyatt Cushman, Staff Writer |
The Red Sox and Yankees rivalry has long been considered one of the fiercest in sports. The most recent memories we have of this iconic rivalry is their matchups in the 2003 and 2004 American League Championship Series. The Yankees won in 2003 on an Aaron Boone walk off homerun in a deciding game seven, while the Sox had the greatest comeback in baseball history when they erased a 3-0 series deficit in 2004. Both series were great, the fans were highly invested, and the high stakes of each game made every out that much more intense. Ever since those two epic series this rivalry has been somewhat nonexistent. A rivalry is best when both teams are good and play meaningful games against one another late in the season. Since 2004, both teams just haven’t been good at the same time. However, the 2017 season has shown us that there is hope for just that in the very near future.
Currently, the Red Sox and Yankees occupy the first and second spots in the American League East with only a few games separating them. Each are in position to make the postseason in the same year for the first time since 2009, which is really exciting. Both teams are good again, and it looks like it should stay that way for years to come. The squads are equipped with young star talent that is already putting them in postseason contention, and these players are expected to only get better with experience. This means that more late regular season divisional races and hopefully more postseason matchups are on the horizon.
The second half of 2017 has shown us some glimpses of these desired matchups between these two historic teams. In a series back in early August, Yankees rookie Aaron Judge belted a ball to deep center field and Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. made an unbelievable catch to rob Judge of a homerun. Then weeks later, Rafael Devers, a Sox rookie, took Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman deep in the ninth inning to tie the game, which the Red Sox would go on to win in extra innings. This rivalry hasn’t been all Boston though. In the last series of the season between these teams, the Yankees took three out of four games, including the last game from Sox ace Chris Sale. Sale is this season’s favorite to win the Cy Young award, but the Bronx Bombers would not let him get the best of them. The Sox went 0-5 against the Yankees with Sale on the mound, so even when Boston supposedly had its best lineup on the field, the Yankees beat them every single time.
Looking ahead to the postseason, we see a potential matchup between these teams in the ALCS, which would be absolutely amazing for baseball and for both fan bases. A lot has to come together though for that to happen. Both teams would need to make the playoffs, which isn’t ensured, but at the moment it looks like they will. After that, they would each need to beat a really good club in the Divisional Series. One would be the Astros, who have MVP candidate Jose Altuve on their team. Houston has struggled the second half of this season but would still be favored to beat either the Yankees or Red Sox. The other team would be the Cleveland Indians. This team has won 18 straight games (this was written on Sept 10) and whether that streak is still going by the time you are reading this or not, that is an amazing feat and shows the Indians are ready for another deep postseason run. This may not be the season we get a dream matchup between Boston and New York, but it appears as though it’s on the horizon and staying for years to come.