Boston will be throwing these three pitchers at the Yanks: Josh Beckett tonight, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. Those would normally be the top three Sox pitchers in their rotation, but John Lackey is not going to face the Yanks this time through.

And Beckett is still struggling to find consistency. He's 1-0 with a 6.31 ERA, and that's including his most recent start, when he allowed two runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Orioles.

Beckett started Opening Night against the Yankees and allowed five runs over 4 2/3 innings in a game the Sox went on to win. He's got a 1.57 WHIP, well above his career 1.23, and opponents are hitting .303 against Beckett this season.

Beckett turns 30 next week, so this is not a case of overall decline, it seems. The guy is still one of the few big-time pitchers in baseball.

The Sox do have some numbers against Phil Hughes, tonight's Yankees starter -- Hughes is 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA in eight career games against Boston, though his last start against the Sox came a little over a year ago.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

And this is hardly the same pitcher who had trouble commanding a spot in the rotation in years gone by. Hughes has been dominant with his command, unafraid to throw his fastball at any time. He's bringing the sort of confidence a visiting pitcher needs at Fenway Park.