By Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – What a win for the Red Sox! An 8-2 romp in Houston against the defending World Series champions.  Lots of thoughts on this one, so let’s get to it:

    • The beauty of postseason baseball is you just never know who might be the hero and Game 3 gave us many
    • Jackie Bradley, Jr. had 19 regular season appearances with the bases loaded during the regular season. He had a single and one walk. In Game 2, he had a three-run double and in Game 3, he crushed a grand slam. He hit .234 during the regular season and was 3-for-20 with 8 strikeouts and 0 HR and 0 RBI vs Houston. Hard not to feel good for a kid who has been hammered on sports talk radio about his hitting and should have been shipped out. Kudos to Dave Dombrowski for keeping him.
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Jackie Bradley Jr. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

    • Steve Pearce breaks a 2-2 tie when he crushed a pitch from Dallas Keuchel to deep left field for his first-ever playoff home run. Pearce becomes the 5th-oldest Red Sox player to homer in the postseason at 35 years, 186 days. The others? Don Baylor, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, and Yaz.
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Steve Pearce, Mookie Betts (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

    • Nathan Eovaldi has been a postseason stud on the mound. A strong ALDS Game 3 start in New York (7 IP 5H 1R 0BB 5K) was followed up with another as Eovaldi worked 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. Pretty special to watch, especially in his hometown Houston in front of numerous friends and family.
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Nathan Eovaldi in Game Three of the ALCS at Minute Maid Park on October 16, 2018. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    • Brock Holt and Mitch Moreland add to the list of contributors with back-to-back, pinch hit “hit by pitch” at-bats in the 8th to set up JBJ’s grand slam. File that under the “wear it” and “whatever it takes” moments.
    • I’ve watched the Tony Kemp catch over and over and I believe that the ball hit the mesh screening or bar on the left field wall. Didn’t think so when watching it live. So, I can see how it may or may not have been reversed when the Sox challenged it. But, my question is – how could the MLB review take only a minute? I slowed it down, blew it up, and watched it over and over! I assume MLB has all kinds of angles, slo-mos, etc. How could that decision come down so quick? Maybe the baseball gods took care of it with Pearce going deep his next time up.
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Tony Kemp (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Scoring first is important in any sport these days, but it seems huge for this Sox team. Boston was 74-15 in the regular season when getting the game’s first run and is 5-0 in the postseason. When opponents scored first in the regular season, the Sox were 34-39. During the postseason, Sox are 0-2 when opponent scores first.
  • Per MLB, the winner of Game 3 of the ALCS when teams were tied 1-1 has gone on to win the ALCS 16 of the 21 previous times that it’s happened.
  • I agree with Alex Cora in that the Red Sox appeared to grow up in Game 3 of the ALDS in New York. I felt like the players relaxed after the 16 run outburst and said, “Ok, we can do this” and they’ve been good since. Confidence is such a big word – to me – in sports. Boston’s seems to be growing daily.
  • Cora also said that the key to beating the Yankees in New York and the Astros in Houston was/is keeping the ball in the ballpark. So far, the Sox are 3-0 on the road and have out-homered NY/Houston 4-0.
  • This series far from over. Porcello vs Morton in Game 4 Wednesday night. At least we know worst-case scenario for the Sox is the series can’t end in Houston.
  • Cora said this after the game about Chris Sale, who re-joined the Sox Monday after coming down with a stomach bug/virus/issue – in case you missed it:

Cora: “So with Sale, this is what he said, “I’m good enough.” He didn’t throw bullpen today (Tuesday). He’ll go out there tomorrow (Wednesday). And then we’ll go from there.”

Q: “You think Sale could throw a bullpen tomorrow (Wednesday) and then pitch the next day (Thursday, Game 5)?”

Cora: “He’ll throw a bullpen and we’ll go from there.”

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