I said before the game even began that Phelps was going to be a ho hum type starter and he again proved it giving up 3 runs on seven hits over six and a third. The numbers aren’t bad and he didn’t give up any walks which was good but unfortunately the Yankee offence had no answer to John Lester who gave up only one run on five hits over seven innings and really seemed to have control over the game. Lester seems to be starting to get back on track but its to little to late for the Red Sox as Lester is now 7-10 with an ERA of 5.03. Believe it or not these are improved numbers for him compared to a few weeks ago. Phelps effort wasn’t good enough for a win but it did show how important he is to the Yankees. He is in my mind one of the best long men the Yankees have had in recent years. Middle relief has been a weak point in the Yankee bull pen in recent years. It may even be what has kept them out of the WS, but with Phelps,Chamberlain and now Lowe it appears to be a strength. The end of the bull pen with Robertson and Soriano is the best in baseball and once the rotation gets healthy expect the Yankees to put a little distance between them and the Rays in the east. Today Hideki Kuroda takes the mound and will hopefully show the world why he has been the best pitcher in baseball over the last ten starts. Kuroda is now 11-8 with an ERA of 3.06 and seems to be getting better every time he takes the ball. Tuesday against the hard hitting Texas Rangers he was absolutely dominate with a complete game two hit shutout. Only one of the hits was out of the infield. In his last 15 starts he is 8-2 with an ERA of 2.30. In his last 30 innings at home he has only given up three runs. He will be facing John Beckett, who once considered the Ace of the Red Sox, has not enjoyed the same kind of luck. Beckett is 5-10 with and ERA of 5.19 and in his last two starts he has allowed 14 runs and five homers in 10 innings. There is a lot of turmoil within the Red Sox right now and Bobby Valentine has come forward and said he is not doing a good job. If he survives the rest of the season without getting canned shame on the Red Sox. The mere fact that he has a job right now shows how mishandled the Red Sox are. Boston is 6.5 games out of the wildcard which isn’t insurmountable. What makes it difficult is that they have five teams in front of them that will also be bidding for that Wild card spot.Boston’s only chance is to make some drastic changes. It needs to start with their manager and end with a revamping of their starting rotation. Fortunately for the Yankees they aren’t going to do any of that, often what is prudent isn’t realistic.