Game 1: Red Sox: 5 Yankees: 4
A much-anticipated rematch of the 2004 American League Champion Series, this series started off no different than what most baseball fans expected. The greatest rivalry in sports today began with a homerun from American League RBI leader J.D. Martinez, who took a fastball from New York starter J.A. Happ and sent it over the Green Monster after Happ allowed Boston left fielder Andrew Benintendi and first baseman Steve Pearce to get on base. Martinez took Happ’s pitch over the wall to give Boston a 3-0 lead early in the first inning, and after that, Boston never looked back. Boston pitcher Chris Sale dominated the Yankee hitters, working a little over five innings, while only allowing two runs and striking out eight batters. The Yankees began to show some life once they knocked Sale out of the game, scoring clutch runs from Boston relievers Ryan Brasier, Brandon Workman, and closer Craig Kimbrel. A combination of timely offense and clutch pitching drove Boston to an early lead over their division rival, scraping out the 5-4 victory despite the late rally by the Yankees.
Game 2: Yankees: 6 Red Sox: 2
After a close Game 1 defeat left a rather sour taste in the mouths of the New York players, the Yankees came out with some added strength in Game 2, knocking around Boston starting pitcher David Price for three runs in less than two innings. Price, whose history against the Yankees was less than positive, ran into trouble early, giving up a second inning home run to Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez also homered off of Boston reliever Eduardo Rodriguez later in the game. Right fielder Aaron Judge also took Price deep in the second inning, ending a short and rather disappointing day for Price, who was eager to bounce back against a team who he has not fared well against in recent history. Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka quieted the Boston bats, limiting the Sox to three hits and one run over five solid innings of work. Tanaka also fanned four batters. Sanchez finished Game 2 with two home runs and four RBIs to his credit, and the Yankees fought back after a difficult Game 1 loss to tie the series up before both teams head to New York.
Game 3: Red Sox: 16 Yankees: 1
After coming out of a tough loss in front of their home crowd, the Red Sox were out for revenge on the Yankees back in New York. Yankees ace Luis Severino had a less than admirable start against Boston, and giving up seven runs in the fourth inning knocked him out of the game much earlier than most expected. On the flipside, Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi worked seven solid frames, giving up a mere five hits and one run while striking out five. Boston relievers Heath Hembree and Rodriguez worked the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, combining to allow zero Yankees hits. Boston’s bats were hot all game, but the main story in this tilt was Boston veteran utility man Brock Holt. Holt hit a ninth inning home run off Yankees catcher Austin Romine, who was forced into the pitching rotation by the Yankees’ coaching staff, to complete the first cycle in MLB postseason history. Boston finished the game with an astounding 16 runs on 18 hits, automatically changing the momentum in their favor going into Game 4 of this series.
Game 4: Red Sox: 4 Yankees: 3
The Red Sox snuck out their series win in a close contest against the Yankees after a strong night from both teams pitching rotations. Boston starter Rick Porcello and Yankee Starter C.C. Sabathia locked in a duel that many fans will remember for a while. A questionable move by rookie skipper Aaron Boone ended Sabathia’s night after just three innings, and once Boston knocked the Yankees’ starter out of the game, they showed the world why they were the Major League’s best team this year. Boston catcher Christian Vasquez who, at the time, was struggling at the plate for the Red Sox, hit a clutch home run off Yankee reliever Zach Britton in the fourth inning and Boston never looked back. After Porcello exited the game, Boston skipper Alex Cora was forced to rely on a shaky Boston bullpen to advance them to the ALCS. Relievers Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes each worked scoreless frames for the Red Sox, and when Chris Sale began the slow jog from the Boston bullpen to the mound to work the eighth inning for the Sox, the end seemed to be drawing near for the Yankees. Sale worked a perfect frame, striking out a Yankee hitter in the process. Once the ninth inning rolled around, with a Boston 4-1 lead and closer Craig Kimbrel coming in, the Yankees could ultimately see their season ending. But, as many Yankees fans know, the men in pinstripes would not go down without a fight. A shaky start to the inning by Kimbrel allowed the Yankees to get men on base and, in a very timely manner, were able to push across two runs to bring the game within one run. Now with just a 4-3 lead, the Red Sox were on their heels. Kimbrel was able to work out of trouble, a sight Boston fans have come to see often throughout the season, and at the end of the day, the Red Sox were able to scrape out a 4-3 victory, winning the series three games to one, and ultimately closing out another amazing series between these two bitter rivals.
Two teams. Bitter rivals. What would we have expected? Both teams battled with everything they had, but at the end of the day, the Red Sox proved that they were the better team. Although the Yankees fought with everything they had, the mere depth of the Red Sox roster was just too much for the men in pinstripes. Boston will be facing the Houston Astros in the upcoming ALCS, a team with an arguably better roster than the Red Sox. Boston has a tough road ahead, but if there is any team left in the playoffs with the capability to get the job done, it’s the Red Sox.