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.
|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|
|Shai gives Windies hope with thrilling ODI run chase|
|Ten Hag unsure whether to risk Ajax stars against Bayern|
|Erasmus to work with Bulls as Springboks assist Super Rugby sides|
|Paul Gascoigne pleads not guilty to sexual assault|
|Joshua is ´begging´ for unification fight, claims Wilder|
|Silva, Fernandinho add to Guardiola´s injury woes|
|Hosszu storms to 14th gold, Seto smashes Le Clos´ world record|
|Raheem is an incredible human being - Guardiola rallies behind City star Sterling|
|Sexton pens IRFU extension until 2021|
|Ajax boss Ten Hag can do big things, says Bayern chief Rummenigge|
|He´s good at basketball – Kerr running out of superlatives for Curry|
|Green thrilled to make Warriors return in victory over Timberwolves|
|Madrid squad great and humble - Solari responds to Ronaldo|
|Langer unsure what to expect from Perth wicket|
|Fournette subjected to alleged racial abuse in Titans loss - Marrone|
|Better and better - Mbappe hails Neymar link|
|It´s the end of one of the best movies you could ever see - James pays tribute to retiring Wade|
|NASA invites Curry to see moon rocks|
|No plan B for LaLiga Miami game after Barcelona withdrawal|
|Messi´s English haul, Neymar eyes hat-trick record - Champions League in Opta numbers|