TBS analyst Ron Darling raised eyebrows, if not ire, during Game 3 of the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees playoff series by declaring himself offended at Boston's attempts to tack on more runs while already holding a large lead. After all, NY hit by far the most home runs of any team in the regular season, and it scored five or more runs in an inning 16 times (per Baseball Reference). Gleyber Torres hit a slow roller that third baseman Eduardo Nunez charged and threw in a hurry. Steve Pearce played first and had an RBI single in the fourth. The Yankees immediately challenged and, with a sellout crowd standing and hoping, the out call was upheld after a 63-second review. But if things aren't look great the first time through, the bullpen has to be ready to go, specifically the top relievers. Cora came up at the knee of Houston manager A.J. Hinch, who even out-aggressived Cora last ALDS when he brought in ace Justin Verlander in the fifth inning of Game 4, in a series the Astros led 2-1. Furthermore, the Red Sox are really good, and Sabathia has a significant third time through the order penalty. Catcher Austin Romine was on the hill for the Yankees, who were trying to preserve their bullpen.
Sale then entered when the Red Sox took the field.
NY had not put a leadoff runner on until Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star closer, walked Aaron Judge on four pitches leading off the ninth.
That missed Kimbrel by a few feet and could have seriously injured him. I'd expect him to be strong again tonight before turning it over to one of the best pullpens in baseball. His fingerprints were all over this series, from the decision to burn projected Game 3 starter Rick Porcello in the eighth inning of Game 1 to the four different lineups the Red Sox trotted out in four games.
"Yeah, I think that's something that really started past year, as this fan base absolutely connected with this new young corps that has developed", Boone said. It certainly wouldn't be smart for Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia to plunk a guy on objective and risk getting ejected.
At this point, a reunion with the Yankees seems the most likely outcome.
After racking up 100 regular-season wins and beating Oakland in the AL wild-card game, it was a humbling exit for a power-packed Yankees team that added reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton last offseason and hit a major league-record 267 home runs this year.
The Red Sox now go on to face the defending-champion Astros in the ALCS, which starts Saturday night in Boston.
A lanky, bearded 29-year-old right-hander, Porcello lived a traffic jam from Yankee Stadium in Chester, New Jersey, and is a 2007 graduate of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange - the baseball field there was renamed in his honor last year after he helped fund artificial turf and pro-style dugouts. Brett Gardner walked twice in four plate appearances. "I scooted up in the box a little bit, and I was going to be swinging at anything and try to hook anything". "We felt the matchup was good for him". If he pitches poorly, it'll be because he doesn't execute, not because he gets spooked.
"Well obviously yeah, I knew I needed to hit a home run", Holt said after the game. "Steven (Wright) gets hurt at 4:00 before Game 1".