Many Red Sox fans were panicking late Saturday night when the Olde Towne Team lost home field advantage in the ALCS thanks to a 6-2 loss in Game 2. The series was shifting to the Bronx and the majority of the key players on the Red Sox were untested in October.
Turns out, Yankee Stadium treated them just fine.
The Red Sox toppled their longtime rivals 4-3 Tuesday night in Game 4, clinching the best-of-five series in dramatic fashion. The Sox will move on to the ALCS where they will face the Houston Astros in a series that starts on Saturday.
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What the Sox did in New York in the past 48 hours was truly impressive. In Game 3 they completely dismantled the Yankees, winning 16-1 behind Brock Holt hitting for the cycle and Nathan Eovaldi working a strong seven innings.
Eovaldi's performance gave Alex Cora plenty of options for Game 4 out of the bullpen Tuesday. After a tremendous outing by starter Rick Porcello, who went 5.0 innings and allowed just four hits and one earned run, Alex Cora called on Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel out of the bullpen. Cora raised many eyebrows by bringing Sale out of the pen for the eighth inning but the Sox ace delivered. The lanky lefty threw 13 pitches, eight of which were strikes, and retired all three batters he faced.
Given the success in the eighth, many Red Sox fans on social media were pushing for Cora to bring back Sale in the ninth but instead went to closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel was beyond shaky, coughing up a pair of runs on 28 pitches while walking two batters.
Ultimately, Kimbrel got Gleyber Torres to ground out to Eduardo Nunez on a hotly contested play at first base. After review, the umpiring crew determined Torres was out at first and the Red Sox had earned their 11th franchise trip to the ALCS.
Notes: As a franchise the Red Sox have won four straight postseason games at Yankee Stadium, dating back to the famous 2004 ALCS.