Well that West Coast trip was a disaster. 2-5 against Seattle and Oakland including a sweep job by the A's is not how the Red Sox wanted to end the month after showing some signs of improvement throughout June.
It's been a two steps forward three steps back type of season. Each time it seems like the Red Sox are putting things together they fall back. Again that road trip was just awful and now they welcome in the Yankees for a four game set to try and salvage a series heading into the All-Star break.
It's not going to be easy. Starting pitching has really done this team in. Inconsistencies from Lester, Beckett and Buchholz have been the main issue. You've gotten some really good performances from guys like Franklin Morales but will they hold up against the line-up as potent as the Yanks? They're going to need to.
Losing Pedroia to the DL with a thumb injury hurts as well but sans this weekend the Red Sox offense has not been the consistent problem. Also, if you look at the Yankees who sit 7.5 games ahead of Boston in the AL East, they've incurred some pretty big injuries so far this season as well.
I've heard the point this week about the Red Sox schedule and I think it's fair one. Boston has played better in the month of June but it hasn't been against the best of opponents. After the break this is the rest of July's opponents: Rays, White Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers, Yankees, and Tigers. Tough stretch to say the least.
Is it a pivotal make or break series in the grand scheme of things? No. But after the past road trip and the difficult month ahead it'll be a little encouraging seeing the Sox gain a few back heading into the All-Star break. What better team to do it against too then New York.