When San Francisco Giants rookie Mike Yastrzemski takes his place in the outfield at Fenway Park in Boston this week, the shadow cast above him will be long.
Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, makes his first trip to his grandfather's old stomping grounds as the Giants visit the Red Sox for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.
Right-hander Logan Webb (1-2, 6.75 ERA) will get the start for San Francisco in the opener of the interleague set. Righty Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 5.81) will take the mound for Boston.
Mike Yastrzemski's unmistakable last name alone will be enough to earn him a warm welcome from the Boston crowd after all his granddad did for the home club. Carl Yastrzemski played for the Red Sox from 1961-83, amassing an MVP, 18 All-Star selections, 452 career home runs and 3,419 hits.
Mike Yastrzemski said he expects his grandfather to attend one of the games in the series, though he isn't sure which one.
"It's special in the sense of the history of the game and with my grandfather there," he said. "It's going to be pretty emotional. I'm going to try to contain those things and just try to make it feel like it's a regular game."
The second-generation "Yaz" is making a name for himself in San Francisco, albeit as a 29-year-old rookie. Power runs in the family, as he has hit 19 home runs in his first 96 games to go with a .265 batting average.
"I know he's going to get a ton of attention," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "I'm trying to imagine what's going to go through (the fans) when they see a Yastrzemski out there in the outfield. I'm sure that's going to bring back some big memories for them. I'm sure it's an exciting time for Mike. He'll be out there every day. I look forward to seeing how the fans react."
Red Sox manager Alex Cora concurred.
"Being from a baseball family, you see all this stuff and it's pretty cool. I know how it feels, but this is kind of another level," Cora said. "I know it's going to be a special three days for their family."
Yastrzemski enters having scored the winning run for the Giants in their 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday. San Francisco (72-78) won for just the third time in its last eight games.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, are fresh off playing spoiler with a two-game sweep at the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. Christian Vazquez hit a grand slam and a solo shot in Sunday's 6-3 victory as Boston (79-70) won its third straight following a five-game skid.
The interleague matchup will mark the first series the clubs have played since 2016. Boston has won 10 of the 13 meetings since 2007.
Webb will face the Red Sox for the first time in his sixth career start. He gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings to the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out and has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) in 7 1/3 innings across two starts this month.
Eovaldi has had a poor history against the Giants, going 2-4 with a 10.86 ERA (35 earned runs in 29 innings) over six meetings. He makes his sixth start since returning from the bullpen to the rotation, having thrown 93 pitches in allowing three runs to the Toronto Blue Jays over 4 1/3 innings in his last outing.
--Field Level Media
All eyes on Yastrzemski as Giants visit Red Sox