Alex Cora is looking like a genius right now.
Thanks to a pair of towering Sanchez homers - one that landed in the seats atop Fenway Park's Green Monster and another that cleared it, tracked at an estimated 479 feet - the Yankees beat their rival Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Saturday night, evening the American League Division Series at 1-1.
Despite the minor blip in the radar, Severino will look to build off his solid, yet shortened Wild Card start - when he tossed four innings of shutout ball while striking out seven and allowing two hits. He was swinging a hot bat in September, and it doesn't appear the lack of playing time cooled him off. Mitch Moreland was 1-for-3 and scored a run.
Eovaldi made his first career postseason start, and the moment wasn't too big for him.
So naturally, as the two teams headed to Yankee Stadium for Game 3, Price was welcomed in with open arms - and a standing ovation from some Yankees fans.
For all the focus on big boppers, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi for Boston, and Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez for NY, relievers have reigned in an error when starting pitchers often are shown the exit before they have a chance to stumble too much. He also drove in the game's third run with a ground out to second in the third inning. The six-pack ties Jose Bautista for the most any batter has hit off of the 33-year-old starter.
Though Yankees starter Luis Severino struggled in falling behind, 3-0, through three innings, NY manager Aaron Boone elected to leave him in for the fourth inning.
Behind the plate, Vazquez worked well with Eovaldi. Go with the hosts on the run line as this could be another rout. Eovaldi's six scoreless frames in his last start here came prior to his bullpen blowing the lead in a 3-2 Boston loss on September 18.
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- Andrew Benintendi continues to be unkind to the Yankees.
What the Red Sox do for Game 4 is 100% reliant on what happens on Monday.
Pulled after allowing the first two Boston runners aboard in the third and his team already trailing 3-0, Happ wasn't afforded the opportunity to work his way out of it. Over the last two seasons his playoff ERA stands at 1.38 after he posted a combined 4.28 ERA in his last two regular seasons.
Much to the consternation of some, the Red Sox eschewed the perceived need for bullpen help and opted to add starting pitching ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
- It's tough to gripe about umpiring in a blowout win, but Angel Hernandez was remarkably bad. Next time just bust your a- to first base. It got to the point where it was comical and nearly felt like Hernandez was flipping a coin.
The likely explanation for Boone's slow hook with Severino was a desire to preserve his bullpen in advance of Tuesday's Game 4, when 38-year-old CC Sabathia will be on the mound for the Yankees and nearly certainly won't go beyond four or five innings.
Meanwhile, the vaunted Red Sox offence that carried them to that magical 108-win season went missing before a sellout Fenway crowd of 39,151.