Boston, MA - It's fair to admit if you were a little nervous going into the third game of the 2018 ALDS between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. It felt like the team was too cold, much like in the past two ALDS series from which the Sox were quickly bounced. Last night, however, the Red Sox rapidly let us know that we had nothing to dread. This is a new team. This is Alex Cora's team.
And it all started with Cora, too. Knowing the offense needed a boost, he shuffled the lineup for the third game. A black hole in the lineup had developed from the inabilities to hit by Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler, and Sandy Leon. Cora substituted Rafael Devers, Brock Holt, and Christian Vazquez, respectively, and the benefits were reaped almost immediately.
Vazquez got the rout going in the second inning when his hit off of Luis Severino wound up scoring Devers. And it was Devers who wound up with an RBI of his own when he knocked in Andrew Benintendi.
Benintendi had himself a game, too. His bases clearing double in the fourth inning broke the game wide open and gave Boston a 7-0 lead.
The thrills were palpable in Yankee Stadium as everyone in the Boston lineup got in on the fun with at least one hit. Mookie Betts shook the critics off his back by recording two RBIs in the game, his first ever in the playoffs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. scored two runs for the team. And J.D. Martinez and Steve Pearce added three RBIs between them.
It was Brock Holt who was the hero of the offense, though, as he became the first player in the history of the MLB post-season to hit for the cycle. He was responsible for five RBIs and the Red Sox dugout found his feat worthy of two Gatorade baths.
On the heels of a stellar performance on the mound by Nathan Eovaldi, Boston stymied New York's bats en route to the 16-1 clobbering of their arch rivals. It was the most runs ever scored by Boston on the road in the playoffs and the worst post-season loss in the history of the Yankees.
Hopefully, the Red Sox can keep this momentum going tonight in game four with Rick Porcello on the mound and the chance to advance to the ALCS in their sights!