Last Tuesday was a big night in baseball. The classic rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees in the American League wild card game did not disappoint—unless you are a Yankees fan, of course. The game ended 6–2 with a Red Sox celebration.
The pitcher matchup was one of the highlights of the game. Gerrit Cole was completely out-pitched by Nathan Eovaldi, so much so that Cole had to be subbed out in only the third inning. In just the first inning, he gave up two runs with another run coming in the third. Cole is the Yankee's highest paid contract with an absurd 324 million dollars over the next nine years. This performance might be looked over in a regular-season game, but in a single-elimination playoff game there is no excuse.
Eovaldi, on the other hand, only gave up two hits in the six innings he pitched. He was taken out after the sixth inning, I assume for rest purposes. While it might have been risky to take him out during such a great performance, the Yankees couldn’t capitalize by only scoring one more run.
As great as the pitching was for the Red Sox, the hitting was equally as amazing. Bogaerts and Schwarber both hit home runs. It was also a great game for Verdugo. He had a big double in the seventh inning to seal the game at 6–2.
The Yankees also hit two home runs, one by Anthony Rizzo and, of course, the other was by Giancarlo Stanton. Both homers were hit in almost the exact same place in right field, right behind the Pesky Pole. It seems that whenever Stanton plays the Red Sox, he needs to hit a home run. Whatever his problem with the Red Sox is, however, he is going to have to settle it next season; the Red Sox got the last laugh in this one. The Yankees did not score any other runs, which ultimately led to their season’s demise. Aaron Judge had a big hit later in the game that almost led to him scoring a Stanton-single, but was thrown out by Bogaerts at home.
What does this mean for the Red Sox? Well, at the very least they have the privilege to go up against the Rays, the best team in the American League this season. Game One of the series was a shut-out win by the Rays with the help of Randy Arozarena with three runs.
If the Red Sox have any hope to get deeper in the playoffs, they are going to have to take advantage of runners on base. There have been too many times where the Red Sox have a man in scoring position and did not capitalize. In particular, it looks like Devers hasn’t been himself lately. Against the Yankees, he didn’t have a hit, and in Game One against the Rays, he failed to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation where they were down five. Usually, Devers does a great job of slowing the game down. That is why he was an all-star this season. While he isn’t playing terribly, they are going to need him to play almost perfectly if they want a chance to get out of this series—not to mention the World Series.