The Yankees fell behind early and trailed the rest of the way, falling to the Boston Red Sox 6-2 in the AL Wild Card Game.
Here are some key takeaways …
– In the top of the first inning, Giancarlo Stanton hit a towering fly ball to left. On a warm night, it likely would have been a long homer over the Green Monster, but on a cooler night like this one, the ball died and ended up banking off the wall. Stanton didn’t hustle out of the box and was held to a single, and he’d be stranded there.
In the bottom of the first, Gerrit Cole recorded the first two outs easily, but after walking Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts crushed a two-run homer to dead center, a 427-foot blast that not even the cooler weather could stop, putting Boston up 2-0. Cole left a changeup up in the zone, and Bogaerts didn’t miss it.
– The Red Sox continued to hit Cole hard in the early innings. Kevin Plawecki doubled to deep right-center in the second, though he was left stranded. In the third, though, Kyle Schwarber blasted a solo shot to right field, getting around on a 97 mph fastball.
Cole then allowed a Kiké Hernandez single and walked Devers, and after just 50 pitches and six outs, his night came to an early end as Clay Holmes came out of the bullpen and got out of the jam. Cole allowed three earned runs on four hits while striking out three and walking two, as his command was an issue.
– The last time the Yankees faced Nathan Eovaldi, they were all over him for seven earned runs over 2.2 innings on Sept. 24, but the right-hander flipped the script this time around. Through his first five innings, Eovaldi allowed just two hits, both singles, while striking out seven.
In the sixth, Aaron Boone turned to his bench looking for offense, pinch-hitting Rougned Odor for Andrew Velazquez. But Odor went down on three pitches. Anthony Rizzo, hitting out of the leadoff spot, picked up the slack, however, with a long home run down the right field line. Rizzo’s blast made it a two-run game.
As the Yankees gained momentum and Eovaldi was pulled, Stanton slammed a double off the monster, but Aaron Judge was caught at home plate as Hernandez played it well off the wall and the relay home was in plenty of time to cut him down. That play kept it a 3-1 game.
– Luis Severino gave the Yankees a clean fifth inning, but a walk in the sixth to Bogaerts and a double from Alex Verdugo down the line in right pushed Boston’s lead back to three, as Bogaerts raced home and beat the throw.
The Sox then broke things open in the bottom of the seventh. Jonathan Loaisiga walked a pair before Chad Green walked another to load the bases, and with two away, Verdugo singled to left-center to make it a 6-1 game. He was out trying to take second, but the damage was done.
-Stanton hit a solo home run to right in the top of the ninth, as he hit the ball hard time and time again on Tuesday, but it was too little, too late.