The Boston Red Sox are heading back to the American League Championship Series (ALCS) for the first time since 2013 after a dramatic 4-3 win over the New York Yankees in game four on Tuesday.
Rick Porcello tossed five good innings for Boston to earn the win while Christian Vasquez hit the home run which would prove to be the difference. It was the second shortest home run in Yankee Stadium the season at 338 feet, according to The Athletic.
Craig Kimbrel made the game dramatic in the ninth, loading the bases and allowing two runs to score to cut the lead to one, but a groundout by Gleyber Torres ended the game and the Yankees' season with a 3-1 American League Division Series (ALDS) loss.
End of the line?
This might be it for CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner in Yankees uniforms. Both players are free agents at the end of the season and New York could opt to go younger with guys like Chance Adams in the starting rotation and Clint Frazier in the outfield.
Sabathia's game four start was the shortest of his postseason career as he went three innings, allowing five hits, three runs and just one strikeout. Gardner gave quality at-bats as he always does. It might be the end of an era in New York.
One BIG inning for the Sox.— MLB (@MLB) October 10, 2018
Boston’s on the board first. pic.twitter.com/oqi9IsQvun
Maybe just one night?
The Red Sox bullpen had been downright shaky to start the series. Between Ryan Brasier, Heath Hembree, Eduardo Rodriguez, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly, Boston had allowed five runs in 13 innings pitched with two of those leaving the park.
Brasier, Barnes and Workman struggled in game one while Rodriguez gave up a three-run bomb in game two. Even in game one, Kimbrel gave up a solo homer to Aaron Judge.
But in game four, the Red Sox true relievers did their job. Brasier and Barnes threw two hitless innings in the sixth and seventh to help bridge the game to Kimbrel in the ninth. This could be a step in the right direction for the part of Boston's team Red Sox fans were most nervous about coming into the series.
Crazy, stressful, insane.— MLB (@MLB) October 10, 2018
This is what October baseball's all about. pic.twitter.com/MLuoPyH0mP
As good as Brasier and Barnes were, the bullpen clearly did not inspire the most confidence in manager Alex Cora, so he went to Chris Sale in the eighth inning to set up Kimbrel.
It worked out great. Sale needed all of 13 pitches to get three outs with the biggest scare coming on a long fly ball by Torres to the warning track to start the inning. That ball fell short, though, and Sale then got pinch-hitter Andrew McCutchen to ground out before striking out Aaron Hicks looking.
The eighth inning was surgical for Sale, who looked like a late-inning reliever despite not making an appearance out of the bullpen since 2012.
|Llorente keen on Athletic return|
|I love the guy - Pocock backs under-pressure Cheika|
|Fit-again Ozil in line for Arsenal return against Qarabag|
|Raheem Sterling named Premier League Player of the Month|
|Two more Ligue 1 games postponed due to unrest|
|Pace attack among India´s best ever - Arun|
|Premier League has fostered ´excessive aggression´ among fans, says Scudamore|
|Sharks back Flanagan amid NRL investigation|
|Not good for my recovery! Hoddle delights in Spurs´ Champions League heroics|
|Harris backing Starc to fire in Perth|
|No fears over Atleti´s second-place finish for Simeone|
|Clippers buckled under Raptors pressure - Rivers|
|Icardi: Inter deserved to qualify|
|Team Sky future unclear as Sky opt to end involvement in cycling|
|PSG had to change mentality - Thiago Silva|
|Rockets make change, pick up win over Trail Blazers|
|Everything´s easier when you´ve got Messi – Miranda|
|From George Cross to Arsenal – Montemurro´s rise to make Gunners great again|
|Koulibaly challenges Napoli to win Europa League|
|Raptors star Leonard out against Clippers, may miss matchup with Warriors|
|Butler opens up about heated Timberwolves practice|
|Spurs achieved ´mission impossible´, says Pochettino|
|Dembele stunner pleases Barca boss Valverde|
|Van Dijk lauds ´fantastic´ Alisson|
|Van Dijk´s tackle on Mertens worthy of red card – Ancelotti|
|Klopp ´would have paid double´ for Alisson|
|Klopp: I don´t care about Madrid revenge mission|
|Tension and anxiety got to Inter, laments Spalletti|
|Tuchel hails magnificent PSG as Red Star win seals last-16 spot|
|Mbappe admits frank discussions inspired PSG´s Champions League progress|
|Klopp: Napoli had no answers to outstanding Liverpool|
|Pochettino proud of ´massive, massive achievement´ for Spurs|
|Barcelona equal Champions League record|
|Composed and controlled Liverpool see off Napoli to progress|
|Tenerife back to winning ways, AEK beat Hapoel|
|Howedes ´hurt´ after emotional Schalke return ends in defeat|
|Kane ´buzzing´ over ´not bad´ draw at Barcelona|
|Robertson hails Alisson´s ´unbelievable´ save as Liverpool progress|
|Red Star Belgrade 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Neymar brilliance helps secure Group C top spot|
|Inter 1 PSV 1: Icardi header not enough for the Nerazzurri|
|Liverpool 1 Napoli 0: Superb Salah sends Reds through|
|Club Brugge 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Simeone´s men miss out on top spot|
|Barcelona 1 Tottenham 1: Lucas rescues Spurs late on to secure progress|
|Monaco 0 Borussia Dortmund 2: Guerreiro double snatches top spot from Atletico|
|Butler´s groin strain ´nothing significant´ – 76ers coach Brown|
|Woakes, Curran among leading lights at IPL auction|
|Blue Jays release five-time All-Star Tulowitzki|
|Mourinho: Professionals care more than the fans|
|Casillas reaches 100 Champions League wins|
|Expansion franchise Cincinnati sign Garza, send Kamara to Rapids|
|Manchester City sign United States goalkeeper Steffen for reported £7m|
|Schalke 1 Lokomotiv Moscow 0: Russians miss chance for Europa League reprieve|
|Galatasaray 2 Porto 3: Terim´s men into Europa League after penalty drama|
|Jackman leaves Dragons role|
|Tottenham boosted as Barcelona bench Messi|
|Mane and Henderson in Liverpool XI to face Napoli|
|Mourinho shoots down question over how to get the best from Pogba|
|Ronaldo to start as Allegri aims to avoid Champions League big guns|
|Odriozola: I´m in love with Benzema, he´s the best number nine in the world|
|Vikings fire OC DeFilippo after loss to Seahawks|
|Marcelino suggests Valencia open to Batshuayi departure|
|Bottas to make rally debut in title-winning M-Sport Ford Fiesta|
|Kovac dismisses Pavard speculation|
|Yaya Toure leaves Olympiacos after just five appearances|
|Riise challenges Liverpool to banish Champions League disappointment against Napoli|
|We rallied around it - Durant on Green confrontation aftermath|
|Valencia ´p****d off´ with Fellaini´s controversial Young Boys winner - Soler|
|More must be done to combat racism at Premier League grounds – Chalobah|
|Napoli will not sack ´big signing´ Ancelotti if they miss Champions League qualification, says De La|
|Guardiola not interested in ´exceptional´ Saul|