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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Xander Bogaerts (#2) of the Boston Red Sox reacts after his two run home run against the New York Yankees during the first inning of the American League Wild Card game at the Fenway Park on October 05, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo : Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
On Tuesday night, the Boston Red Sox are moving on to the American League Division Series after beating the New York Yankees, 6-2, in the AL Wild Card Game at Fenway Park. It was an emotional win for the Red Sox, who will next face the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
Gerrit Cole disappoints in the biggest start of his Yankees’ career
Gerrit Cole flopped in the biggest game of his Yankees’ career, allowing three earned runs on four hits in just two plus innings of action. Cole, the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, was rocked early in the winner-take-all game, surrendering home runs to Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber.
Cole was emotional when facing reporters after his terrible start, saying he was sick to his stomach with his showing. Cole has struggled mightily at Fenway Park, with his ERA in this venue now ballooning to 7.00. He has fared much better in other venues, posting a 2.94 ERA in those locations.
Cole’s loss was Nathan Eovaldi’s gain with the Red Sox right-hander delivering a quality start for Boston. He kept the Yankees at bay, allowing just one run on four hits in 5 ⅓ innings with eight strikeouts.
The Yankees’ best opportunity came at the top of the sixth inning, with New York finally doing some damage against Eovaldi. Anthony Rizzo finally got the Yanks on the board with a solo homer before Aaron Judge’s infield single ended Eovaldi’s night.
The game’s turning point came in the following at-bat after Giancarlo Stanton blasted a double off the Green Monster. The Yankees’ third-base coach Phil Nevin opted to send Judge home from first base, a decision that backfired as the Bronx Bomber was easily thrown out at the plate.
Instead of having runners at second and third with one out, the Yankees only had Stanton at second base with two outs. The Yankees’ rally fizzled after that, with Boston adding three more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to seal the win.
Red Sox to face Rays next in ALDS
It was a disappointing end to the season for the Yankees, whose last World Series title came in 2009. The same cannot be said for the Red Sox, who will now prepare for their postseason showdown with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays have already announced their starters for the first two games of the ALDS, with Tampa Bay opting for young talent atop its rotation. Rookie left-hander Shane McClanahan will start the opener against the Red Sox, while top prospect Shane Baz will start for the Rays in Game 2.
With the McClanahan-Baz combo, the Rays will become just the second team in postseason history to start rookie pitchers in the first two games of a playoff series, joining the 2012 Oakland A’s in that very short list.
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