A loud rumble echoed through the 109-year-old green structure that rested on 4 Jersey Street in Boston, Massachusetts. That rumble was made possible by the electrifying bats that prevailed from the Boston Red Sox lineup and stellar outings from Nathan Eovaldi and Co. to rout the New York Yankees in a 6-2 victory in the winner-take-all American League Wild Card game on Tuesday night.
Before Eovaldi could grip the seams on the mound, Curaçao native Xander Bogaerts drilled an 89-mph changeup from Yankees ace Gerrit Cole to the seats in center field for a two-run homer, setting the stage early for a loud and astounding Red Sox win.
It took a leadoff solo home run from Kyle Schwarber, a single from Kiké Hernández, and a walk to Rafael Devers in the bottom of the second inning for Yankees manager Aaron Boone to cut the leash on his ace who won 16 games in the regular season. It took 50-pitches (30 for strikes) for the 31-year-old veteran to get six outs.
A depleted Cole was only a mere reflection of the Yankees roster that failed to come through on all sides of the ball. To conclude his night, Cole gave up three runs on four hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.
Once the Red Sox scored their fourth run of the night in the sixth inning, leading the Bronx Bombers by the score of 4-1, the signs of a Boston victory radiated. Boston had gone 82-18 in 2021 after scoring four or more runs and 69-9 after leading in the sixth inning.
The Yankees pitchers could not hinder a Red Sox lineup that maintained a variety of All-Star talent, even without outfielder and designated hitter J.D. Martínez, who was scratched from the Wild Card roster due to an ankle injury. The confidence only blossomed as Bogaerts and Rafael Devers each served two walks to help their team shakeup the Yankees pitching staff.
Nothing could dismantle the Red Sox’s confidence from providing the necessary offense they needed to squander the Yankees’ hopes of advancing further into the postseason.
“I think the top of their order was amazing today,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after advancing to the American League Division Series. “It’s why they do what they do. It doesn’t matter who’s playing, who’s not playing, we’re gonna show up, and we’re gonna play. And, regardless of the results, we’re going to be happy with the way we go about our business. Sometimes it looks horrible, but you know 93-times this year hasn’t looked horrible. So we’re gonna keep rolling.”
The Red Sox bullpen was set up for success after Eovaldi exhausted the Yankees lineup early on, tallying eight strikeouts, no walks, four hits, and two runs over 5.1 innings.
The Yankees lineup only produced two solo home runs that slithered around the right field foul pole from the bats of two reliable power hitters — Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo. However, the two runs were not enough to edge the Red Sox at home, as seven Yankees went hitless in the one-win-and-advance-on game.
The only Yankee player that showed up throughout multiple at-bats was Stanton, who went 3-for-4 on the night. He was a triple shy from hitting for the cycle.
The Yankees’ streaky season and regular season losses became a reflective point after the Yankees were eliminated from postseason contention. As the team let the stinging pain of defeat settle, the notion that “every game counts” became more vivid.
“Understanding that each game counts, don’t matter if it’s in freakin’ March or April, all we needed was one more, and we would have this … So yeah, they’ll come back to bite you,” Stanton said as the frustration continued to linger following the Yankees exit from the postseason.
The Yankees used four pitchers from their bullpen — Clay Holmes, Luis Severino, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Chad Green — against the aggressive Red Sox lineup. The bullpen had the best ERA (2.97) in the American League entering the game, but painfully succumbed three runs on three hits and six walks through seven innings.
For the New York Yankees, the sting penetrates the core and foundation of this organization’s storied history built on the victories of championships. Unfortunately, after losing to their most notorious rival, and ending their journey by walking down the abysmal dark tunnels that lead towards the exit of the 2021 postseason, the gutted loses have become an all too familiar tale for the team that is expected to win the World Series every year. They once again failed to live up to the expectations that preceded them, allowing their goals of winning a championship to dwindle before their eyes.
Since 2017, the Yankees had lost twice in the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros in ’17 and 2019, and American League Division Series against the Red Sox in 2018 and Tampa Bay Rays in 2020.
After missing the playoffs in 2020, and having their backs against the wall towards the end of 2021, Boston found a way to win when it mattered the most. Having short-term memory and not allowing a late-September sweep — courtesy of the Yankees — rattle their confidence was the key to unlocking their eager ambitions, clearing the path for a postseason run.
The Red Sox will travel to St. Petersburg, Fl., where they will face the Amerian League East Division winners, the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series on Thursday, October 7, at Tropicana Field at 8:07 p.m. EST. The last time the two faced off in the postseason was back in the 2013 ALDS, where the Red Sox won the series 3-1 and went on to win the ’13 World Series title.
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