Commentary

Notes on Penny, Blackburn

Updated: June 10, 2009, 3:34 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | Special to ESPN Insider

Red Sox defense will be active, but Penny shouldn't be

Brad Penny hopes to decrease his 5.85 ERA and 1.60 WHIP on Thursday night against the New York Yankees and get the Red Sox yet another victory against their rivals. The Yankees don't have much of a track record against him, as he's been in a National League uniform most of his career. We do know he pitches to contact, and the Yankees are one of the best contact-hitting lineups in baseball. How have the Yankees fared against Penny's type? There are only six American League starters (listed below) who have a lower swing-and-miss rate than Penny, and collectively, they have a 6.26 ERA and 1.58 WHIP against the Yankees in 41 2/3 innings this season. The chance Penny will squeeze out a win is even smaller with CC Sabathia pitching for the Yanks.