BOSTON (CBS) — Alex Bregman gave the Red Sox plenty of bulletin board material for Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the ALCS.
The Astros third baseman decided to hit social media on Monday to fire up Houston fans. He posted a video to his Instagram story of the team clubbing back-to-back-to-back homers back in June. What’s so special about this trio of dingers? They came off Nathan Eovaldi, who just so happens to be Boston’s Game 3 starter Tuesday night.
Bregman didn’t keep the video posted for long, but long enough for fans everywhere to take notice. Eovaldi was asked about it Monday afternoon in Houston, but said he didn’t get to see the video. His focus is on giving the Red Sox another quality start this postseason.
“I still have a job to do,” said Eovaldi, who gave Boston seven innings of one-run ball in ALDS Game 3 last week against the Yankees. “I’ve got to go out there and pitch my game tomorrow and I can’t have any distractions.”
Boston manager Alex Cora also said he didn’t see the video, and doesn’t really think it will provide any extra motivation with the series tied 1-1.
“If you need motivation in Game 3 of the ALCS, you better check yourself,” said Cora. “Because you win three more games, you go to the show. And that’s what should motivate you. Alex has different ways of motivating himself and whatever. I’ll leave it at that.”
Cora is pretty familiar with Bregman’s way of doing things, having won a World Series title with the Astros as a bench coach last season. And if the player wants to reminisce about taking Eovaldi yard four months ago, when the pitcher was in a Rays uniform and not a Red Sox one, so be it.
But Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce was a little more animated over the post.
“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that,” Pearce told WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series. … I don’t think he needs to run his mouth. He’s one of the best players in the game. If that’s his personality, that’s his personality. Nothing against the guy. If that’s how he has to motivate himself, whatever.”
Bregman has yet to record a hit in the ALCS but has worked six walks and scored a pair of runs over the first two games. He’s batting .417 for the playoffs and homered twice against the Indians in the ALDS. He remains one of the most dangerous bats in the Houston lineup, and Eovaldi knows that from his past experience.
But Bregman should know that it didn’t work out too well the last time an opponent trolled the Red Sox. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge blared “New York, New York” as the Yankees left Fenway Park after their Game 2 victory. Boston went on to win the next two games in Yankee Stadium to take the series in four games.
We’ll see if this episode becomes another cautionary tale on trolling your opponents in the playoffs.