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The Pinnacle of Rivalry

Paul Byrd will face Sidney Ponson in the battle of FIPs of the 5.34 and 4.63 variety this week. Which got me to thinking; since 1990 what are the ten worst starting pitcher match-ups in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry? Here's what I came up with.

May 8, 1994: Joe Hesketh (BOS) v. Terry Mulholland (NYY)
Hesketh was a 35 year old pitching in his last professional season while Mulholland was only 31 and would amazingly pitch through 2006. That really didn't stop this from being a pretty bad bout on paper, although to Hesketh's credit his 1994 FIP would end up just shy of 4, Mulholland's wound up at 5.51. Hesketh would last two and a third innings before being yanked after five hits, two walks, and two earned runs on only 45 pitches. Mulholland went seven and allowed four hits and four earned runs in a game that mercifully lasted only two hours and twenty four minutes.

May 27, 2000: Brian Rose (BOS) v. Jason Grimsley (NYY)
This was before Grimsley became famous while still being awful and before Brian Rose became uh...a 2001 Devil Rays pitcher. Disappointingly neither stunk up the joint too bad with Rose going four, six hits, three earned runs, and Grimsley going five with three hits and three earned runs against. Sadly neither factored into the decision as Mike Stanton and John Wasdin took credit for the win and loss.

June 21, 2000: Pete Schourek (BOS) v. David Cone (NYY)
Cone was in the midst of his worst season as a professional going up against a guy who was only in the majors because of the arm in which he threw with. The game lasted three and a half hours and neither was awful yet the final score involved 16 runs scored.

September 11, 1999: Mike Portugal (BOS) v. Hideki Irabu (NYY)
Let me just post the lines from that faithful day in the Bronx:

Portugal 4 IP 7 H 4 ER 3 BB 3 SO
Irabu 2 IP 3 H 4 ER 3 BB 1 SO

June 27, 1991: Tim Bolton (BOS) v. Wade Taylor (NYY)
In Taylor's only season he'd pitch a pretty decent game against the Red Sox. Seven innings, three hits, five(!) walks, and four strikeouts. Bolton on the other hand would last three and two-thirds, give up 10 hits, three homeruns, two walks, and eight earned runs. The suck pitches were flying that day.

May 20, 2003: Bruce Chen (BOS) v. Jeff Weaver (NYY)
Combined the starters went nine innings and allowed seven earned runs, that's not awful, but they gave up 16 baseunners and two homeruns as well. This game featured a Sterling Hitchcock mention and is therefore very worthy of a spot on this list.

April 14, 2005: Bronson Arroyo (BOS) v. Randy Johnson (NYY)
I know, I know, I feel dirty for including Johnson too, but this was not a great game. Sure, Johnson went seven and allowed only five hits, but he gave up three homeruns and five earned runs. Combine that with Arroyo's nine hits, five earned runs, and four walks over five and two-thirds and this is just a nasty match-up.

July 15, 2005: David Wells (BOS) v. Tim Redding (NYY)
The final score was 17-1 Red Sox, here are some of the pitchers for New York that day: Redding (six earned in one inning), Darrell May (six earned in two and two-thirds), and Jason Anderson (four earned in two).

June 5, 1990: John Dopson (BOS) v. Andy Hawkins (NYY)
Dopson gets unfairly lumped despite being solid for the Red Sox that season (albeit in a small sample) but on this day his 5.2 innings of four earned run ball was far better than Hawkins performance. Hawkins took the mound with a 1-0 lead and promptly walked Wade Boggs, allowed two straight singles, two more walks, and then finally got Tony Pena to line out to center. He would promptly give up another single and leave with the bases loaded. Five earned runs and one out, ouch.

September 1, 1990: Mike Boddicker (BOS) v. Andy Hawkins (NYY)
Yes, Hawkins did it again a few weeks later. He would retire the second batter of the game, Carlos Quintana, after allowing a leadoff single, and then would allow another single, then an Ellis Burks homerun, then a double, then another homerun by Tom Brunansky. One out, five earned runs, two homeruns against, Andy was not a fan of the Red Sox.