By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Final, 16-1 Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez came on to close things out. He struck out Neil Walker, induced a groundout from Stanton, and then issued a walk to Adeiny Hechavarria. Up stepped Gary Sanchez, who grounded to deep short. Bogaerts fielded it on the backhand and made a Jeter-esque leaping throw to first to end this game.
This one’s over. What a wild game. An offensive explosion (and then some), and a dominant start from Eovaldi.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, none of these runs will be allowed to carry over for Game 4. But the Red Sox have to be feeling pretty good about themselves heading into a clinching opportunity on Tuesday night.
Middle 9th, 16-1 Red Sox: Romine actually buzzed through the first two outs of the inning. Things were looking promising.
But then he walked Kinsler.
Then he served up a home run to Holt.
That home run might be considered meaningless to some, but for Holt, it completed the cycle. He singled and tripled in the fourth, he doubled in the eighth, and now he homered in the ninth. What a night for Holt, who went 4-for-6 with five RBIs.
The homer came off a position player … but based on Holt’s reaction, it doesn’t look like he cares.
End 8th, 14-1 Red Sox: The Yankees did not mount a 13-run comeback in the eighth.
Heath Hembree shut them down in order, ending the inning with a strikeout of Aaron Judge.
And now pitching for the Yankees? It’s Austin Romine.
Austin Romine is a catcher.
Middle 8th, 14-1 Red Sox: It’s ugly out here folks.
Facing Stephen Harpley, the Red Sox have really piled on. Devers led off with an infield single on a chopper that traveled about 15 feet. Then Ian Kinsler singled. (Kinsler entered defensively in the seventh.) Holt then crushed a ground-rule double to right-center field to drive in Devers. Kinsler scored on a wild pitch behind Jackie Bradley, who would end up walking.
Betts then lined a single up the middle to score Holt. And it’s somehow 14-1. What a night for the Boston bats.
End 7th, 11-1 Red Sox: What a performance by Eovaldi. His night is likely done now, as he’s done more than what’s necessary to win this game.
He picked up strikeouts number four and five in that seventh inning, and the Sox now have a 10-run cushion with just six out left to record.
This is the best postseason start a Red Sox pitcher has had in years.
Middle 7th, 11-1 Red Sox: Tack another one on the board for the Red Sox, thanks to a two-out RBI from J.D. Martinez off Jonathan Holder. Jackie Bradley got it all started with a one-out ground rule double to left. After a Betts groundout, Benintendi drew a two-out walk, setting the stage for Martinez.
Eovaldi’s coming back out for the seventh.
End 6th, 10-1 Red Sox: Eovaldi surrendered a leadoff single to Judge, but that would be it for the Yankees in the sixth. Eovaldi overpowered Voit with a high heater for a swinging strike three, before Stanton hit a ball 110 mph … right at Benintendi. Gregorius ended the inning with a flyout to left.
With nine outs left to record, it’ll be interesting to see if Cora rides Eovaldi or takes him out now (at 82 pitches) in case he’s needed in a relief role for a potential Game 5. That might be the smart move. At the same time, if that’s not something that’s in the cards at all, Cora will probably ride Eovaldi as long as possible tonight.
Middle 6th, 10-1 Red Sox: The Sox just had their first 1-2-3 inning of the night. Perhaps we’ve reached the part of the game where minds have already shifted to Game 4. A three-run inning for the Yankees, though, would at least liven things up in a dead ballpark.
End 5th, 10-1 Red Sox: Eovaldi turns in a 1-2-3 inning, which is exactly what the Red Sox need.
He’s at 69 pitches through five innings and can officially be considered cruising at this point.
Middle 5th, 10-1 Red Sox: The Red Sox did not score in the fifth inning. They still lead by nine.
They did have a little something going, as Benintendi worked a two-out walk and then stole second. Martinez followed that up with his second walk of the night. But Bogaerts popped out to end the frame.
End 4th, 10-1 Red Sox: The Yankees are on the board, after an infield single by Voit, a single by Stanton, and a fielder’s choice by Gregorius.
We saw multiple reviews at first base in that inning, as Angel Hernandez is having a hellacious night. He’s been overturned three times. Thank goodness for replay, I guess?
Anyway, it wasn’t Eovaldi’s best inning, but it didn’t need to be. He struck out Sanchez (swinging) for out number two, and got Andujar to ground out to end the inning. He’s at an efficient 60 pitches through four, and is in great position to go deep.
Middle 4th, 10-0 Red Sox: Holy smokes. The rout is on — and then some.
Devers popped out for the second out of the inning, and the Yankees were this close to getting out of the inning without further damage. But, well … they didn’t.
Steve Pearce singled through the left side to score Benintendi. Brock Holt then sent a perfectly placed line drive down the right field line, scoring two more runs on his triple.
And just like that, it’s 10-0.
Anything can happen in baseball, but this one appears to be pretty safe for the Red Sox.
Now we’ll see how Eovaldi handles that long rest in the dugout.
Top 4th, 1 out, 7-0 Red Sox: The Red Sox have blown this one open.
Lance Lynn entered and … walked Betts on four pitches. One run in.
Benintendi then laced a double down the right field line, clearing the bases and putting the Red Sox up 7-0.
What a mess for the home team. And what an explosion for the visitors.
Lynn got Martinez to ground out to short, but Bogaerts followed that up by sending a single into right field. And that will do it for Lynn.
The Sox will have first and third with one out and Devers at the plate when Chad Green takes the mount.
Top 4th, 3-0 Red Sox: The bases are loaded, nobody is out, and Severino’s night is done.
Brock Holt led off the fourth with a single to center. Vazquez followed it up with a line drive single through the right side of the infield on a hit and run. Up stepped Jackie Bradley, who showed bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat but pulled it back to take a low ball one. He didn’t show bunt again, but Severino was wild after that, walking the .234 hitter on four pitches to load the bases.
Terrible job by Boone to send his starter out there for the fourth on a night when Severino clearly didn’t have it. (Terrible job by whoever was in charge of telling Severino to warm up tonight, also.)
Lance Lynn is now on for the Yanks, and he’s got a whale of a task ahead of him here. Mookie Betts is at the dish.
End 3rd, 3-0 Red Sox: Another eventful inning, and another overturned call at first base. (Angel Hernandez is having himself a night!) This time, Torres was ruled out after a spectacular play by Bogaerts to track down a grounder behind second and fire to first. Pearce laid out in a stretch, and Torres was ruled out. But replay showed that Torres was very clearly safe. Boone challenged and won.
With a runner on and nobody out, Brett Gardner absolutely smoked a 3-2 fastball to second base. (Exit velocity: 106.9 mph.) But Brock Holt made a dandy of a play, dropping into a slide and fielding the ball to his left, before popping up, spinning, and feeding Bogaerts at second for the force-out. It should have been a double play, but Bogaerts dropped the ball on the transfer. But that was really a spectacular play by Holt.
It was no issue for Eovaldi, either. He got McCutchen to hit a lazy fly to right before getting Judge to ground into a fielder’s choice at shortstop.
So through all of that, the Yankees couldn’t score.
Eovaldi’s thrown 45 pitches (34 for strikes) and has been bringing the heat. So far, so good for the Sox starter.
Middle 3rd, 3-0 Red Sox: The Red Sox have built upon their lead, and it all started with Mookie Betts.
First, he smoked a line drive single into left field to lead off the inning. Then he advanced from first to third on a bloop single to left field. It took some special vision, speed, and baserunning ability for Betts to take that risk, and he beat McCutchen’s throw comfortably.
Betts then scored on a sacrifice fly from Martinez to double the lead to 2-0.
After that, Bogaerts laced a single into right field, which advanced Benintendi to third (Benintendi took second on throw to try to get Betts at third). Devers then grounded out weakly to second base. It wasn’t hit hard enough for the Yankees to turn a double play, which allowed Benintendi to cross the plate with the third Boston run.
The inning ended with Steve Pearce giving one a ride to deep center field, but Gardner was able to haul it in at the warning track for the final out.
This has not been an ace-like performance from Severino. The Red Sox are hitting him hard, and they’re making him pay. With action already in the New York bullpen, it would not be a surprise at all if Severino’s night is over. He’s only thrown 64 pitches, but he’s been ineffective.
End 2nd, 1-0 Red Sox: Eovaldi pitched out of it, getting Sanchez to ground out weakly to short, and getting Andujar to ground out to second base to end the inning.
That Sanchez play was much closer than it needed to be though, as Bogaerts really took his time before releasing his throw to first. The throw beat the runner by a hair.
Bottom 2nd, 1 Out, 1-0 Red Sox: An eventful bottom of the second thus far. Stanton led off with a single through the hole on the left side (in an at-bat where Eovaldi was getting squeezed).
Didi Gregorius then followed that up with an attempt to bunt for a hit against the shift. It nearly worked, as Eovaldi fielded the bunt, thought about throwing to second, reconsidered, then threw late to first base. Gregorius was ruled safe, and Eovaldi was in some trouble. But Cora challenged, and Gregorius was indeed out by a matter of inches.
So it’s a one-out situation with a runner on second with Gary Sanchez stepping to the plate.
Middle 2nd, 1-0 Red Sox: The Red Sox have an early lead in Game 3.
Devers led off the second with a ball hit even harder than Judge’s lineout, and this one went for a hit down the right field line. Devers hit it so hard — 115.7 mph, to be precise — that he was only able to get a single out of it. That’s despite Judge not exactly sprinting to track it down in right.
Devers then stole second base as Steve Pearce swung through a slider for strike three, before Brock Holt chopped out to second base.
With two outs and a runner at third, Christian Vazquez battled. He fouled off a 2-2 fastball before sending a slider back up the middle. Severino got a glove on it, but the ball deadened behind the mound, allowing Vazquez to reach base safely and allowing Devers to cross the plate.
Credit to Alex Cora’s lineup changes for that run, as neither Devers or Vazquez made it into the starting lineups for Games 1 and 2.
It’s always a good thing to take a lead, of course, but as we saw in the Red Sox’ most recent trip to the Bronx, some Yankee runs are always just a few opposite field pop-ups away. One run almost assuredly won’t win anything tonight.
(Severino is now up to 44 pitches after that long inning.)
End 1st, 0-0: Eovaldi retired the Yankees in order, notably winning a nine-pitch battle with Aaron Judge for the second out.
That was a rather thunderous out, though, as Judge sliced a sharp line drive deep to right field. Betts, though, was in position to make a catch at the track for out number two.
Judge had fouled off four consecutive pitches before hitting the liner to right. The ball had an exit velocity of 109.5 mph.
McCutchen led off with a groundout (Devers fielded it cleanly and made a strong throw), and Voit struck out on three pitches to end the frame.
It took Eovaldi 18 pitches to get through the first. Severino’s in a similar boat, at 15 pitches.
Middle 1st, 0-0: Benintendi followed up Betts’ fly out with a shallow fly to center field. With Severino having thrown just three pitches, J.D. Martinez had to make the starter work. That he did, working a six-pitch walk. Bogaerts stepped to the plate and pulled 2-2 slider off the end of his bat to deep left-center. Gardner tracked it down (he recorded all three outs that inning) to retire the side.
Betts’ fly ball had a 92 percent hit probability. But it was 100 percent an out in this instance.
Top 1st: Severino’s first pitch to Betts is a fastball down the pipe. Betts came out swinging and gave it a ride, but Gardner made the catch at the base of the warning track in straightaway center field.
This game is underway.
7:36 p.m.: First pitch is now just minutes away. That will be coming after Yankee fans let David Price know that they appreciated his Game 2 start.
6:36 p.m.: Of Alex Cora’s pregame comments, the one on Chris Sale was most important. The Red Sox’ manager said that even if the Sox lose Game 3, Chris Sale will not be starting in Game 4. Instead it will be Rick Porcello.
Red Sox fans who watched Porcello allow four or more runs in a third of his starts this season may not feel particularly heartened by that news.
David Price may be available out of the bullpen in tonight or in Game 4. But based on his most recent trip to Yankee Stadium, as well as his July 1 performance, that may not be a great option.
There’s a lot we don’t know about all of that. But we do know there’s a lot of pressure on Eovaldi’s shoulders tonight.
4:10 p.m.: And we now have the lineup the Yankees will counter with against Nathan Eovaldi:
Stanton has hit the Boston righty well with three hits in 10 at-bats, including two doubles and two RBIs. Did Gregoirous has had the most success against Eovaldi, going 5-for-15 with a triple and homer. He’s the only current Yankee to take Eovaldi deep.
3:35 p.m.: Everyone has been wondering if Red Sox manager Alex Cora would change up the Boston lineup for Game 3, and we now have our answer.
That answer is a resounding “Yes!” Cora made three changes to his lineup for Monday night’s game, with Rafael Devers, Brock Holt and Christian Vazquez all finding their way in the Boston order.
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF,
3. J.D. Martinez, DH
4. Xander Bogaerts, SS
5. Rafael Devers, 3B
6. Steve Pearce, 1B
7. Brock Holt, 2B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
— Nathan Eovaldi, SP
Holt replaces Ian Kinsler at second while Devers takes over for Eduardo Nunez at second. Vazquez will catch Eovaldi, which he did several times toward the end of the season.
The Red Sox jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the Yankees after three innings in Game 1, but have scored just two runs since. Maybe Cora’s changes are what the Boston bats need to spark the offense with the series tied 1-1, though none of Monday’s replacements have really had much success against Yankees starter Luis Severino.
Holt is just 1-for-15 with six strikeouts against Severino, while Devers is 0-for-12 and Vazquez is 2-for-8.
At least Boston’s two and three hitters have had success against the New York righty. Benintendi has 11 hits in 28 at-bats against Severino, including three doubles, two homers an a triple. Martinez is 7-for-17 with a pair of doubles.
12 p.m.: “Pivotal” may be the most overused term in sports. But that’s not without reason.
And certainly, the entire scope of the ALDS will shift tonight, when the Red Sox and Yankees square off for Game 3 of what has already been a rather exciting series. If New York wins, then Yankee Stadium will be a cauldron for the Red Sox as they try to avoid elimination in Game 4. If Boston wins, the Red Sox will have retaken home-field advantage, and will get two chances to knock off the Yankees.
Whichever team loses tonight will still have opportunity to win the series, but all margin for error will be eliminated.
We know that it will be Luis Severino vs. Nathan Eovaldi. We don’t know much more than that.
Predictions will be rendered meaningless once this game begins. So follow along here in the live blog for updates and analysis from the first pitch to the final out. This is a big one.