The postseason has officially started. If you are a Red Sox fan, it started the fun. Fenway Park was packed with fans that were on every pitch from start to end. The winner heads to Tampa to face the Rays and the loser has to wonder what could have been.
Nathan Eovaldi took the mound for the Sox and dominated. He pitched 5.1 innings and gave up one run that was a home run by Anthony Rizzo in the 6th inning. Nathan has stepped up for the Sox in a big way and I am sure fans aren’t looking at his contract as a burden anymore. Gerrit Cole, on the other hand, wasn’t sharp. He lasted only two innings and gave up three runs. Xander Bogaerts got the scoring started with a 2-run home run. Later, Kyle Schwarber hit a solo home run off of Cole.
The nail on the coffin to the Yankees season was in the 7th inning when Chad Green came to relieve Jonathan Loaisiga with two men on and one out. Alex Verdugo hit a 2 RBI double and it made the score 6-1. Giancarlo Stanton went 3-for-4 and couldn’t leave Fenway without hitting a home run in the 9th. Rizzo, Aaron Judge, and Gio Urshela each had a hit.
DON’T RUN ON THE RED SOX
The turning point of the game was in the 6th inning, Ryan Brasier came in to relieve Eovaldi with Judge on first. Stanton hit the ball off the Green Monster and for some reason, third base coach, Phil Nevins, decided to wave Judge home from first. At this point, everyone should know that the Red Sox outfielders can throw people out. Enrique Hernandez threw to Bogaerts, who then threw to Kevin Plawecki to get Judge out at home for the second out of the inning. Had Judge been held at third, Brasier would have had to either face Joey Gallo with two men on or walk him to get the Gleyber Torres with the bases loaded.
That was the only big opportunity the offense had since Eovaldi didn’t allow them to have hope. The Red Sox won 6-2 and advanced to the ALDS to face the Rays in Tampa while the Yankees are left wondering what happened.
The play of the game. pic.twitter.com/kDWZqmHn6A — Red Sox (@RedSox) October 6, 2021
It was a very rocky season for the Yankees and although you knew they were still a postseason team, you had to wonder if they were still strong enough to win it all. They have had some great streaks and some horrible streaks. The team on paper was great but what’s on paper doesn’t always translate into reality. Gerrit Cole was the ace of the team, in the running for the CY Young award, and the guy you wanted on the mound. Unfortunately, he isn’t always going to have a great game. Yet still, it could have been worse. The bullpen was great over the season but like Cole, has had their bad games as well. Their offense fought as hard as they could at times, and other times the opposing pitching just overpowered them.
YOU GAVE UP. THEY DIDN’T
Many people gave up on this team in May/June. The players and coaches still believed in themselves throughout and any frustration they had, they kept behind closed doors. They still worked their behinds off regardless of fans and the media saying the team got lazy or doesn’t seem to care anymore. Those guys cared. Way more than any fan or media personality. They were 1000 times more frustrated than the fans who booed them constantly. They endured that because they still look at their fans as the best in the world and its part of playing in New York. Not once complaining about it. They feel more disappointed in themselves than any fan that wants to have the “World Series or bust” attitude. They want to be champions.
While this was not the ending we hoped for, we want to thank the best fan base in baseball for their unwavering support throughout a challenging 2021 season. We welcomed you back to the ballpark, felt every cheer, and can’t wait to hear you rocking in the BX next year. pic.twitter.com/kHIZ7VthKx — New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 6, 2021
CHANGES ARE COMING
No doubt Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman will evaluate the season and discuss changes for next year. Some will be what fans love and some will be what fans don’t. The changes won’t happen just to please the fans, it will be to try to put the best product on the field and become the 2022 World Series champions. I trust the changes Cashman and Steinbrenner will make over the off-season.
Am I disappointed with the team for not completing the task another year? To be honest, no. Because I knew this team wasn’t ready with how they ended the season. I never gave up on the team but always felt they were missing something to complete the task.
The Yankees barely clinched a wild card spot against the team they were hoping to face in the ALDS. All they had to do was win one game and they barely did that. Imagine three games. I am at peace knowing that it was better for the Yankees to be eliminated by the Red Sox than by the Rays.
As much as I want the Yankees to be World Champs every year, I am also not going to pretend they are the best when they aren’t at their best. The better team advanced on Tuesday night. Whether or not they can beat the Rays is a different topic. I will say, this 12-year World Series drought should humble many fans to view the team for what it is and not what the franchise was in the 90s. The goal is still the same. The way it happens won’t be. The drive and passion to do it never left the franchise.
The Red Sox still have to make the decision on if J.D. Martinez can play or not as his ankle is still recovering from being sprained last Sunday. Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to start game one in Tampa and possibly Chris Sale in game 2. This will line up Eovaldi to start game 3 in Boston.
The Rays will have Shane McClanahan start game one and Shane Baz starting game two in Tropicana Field. It will be interesting to see if Ryan Yarbrough will be used during this series and if the Rays break out their opener strategy in a potential elimination/clinching game.