Alex Cora evidently has psychic abilities.
Not only did the Boston Red Sox manager pull all of the right strings Monday night with his lineup changes for Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. His prediction for Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi also proved pretty damn accurate.
Cora was asked Sunday what his expectations were for Eovaldi in Game 3. Before striking a more serious tone, Cora responded with a very specific stat line: “Seven innings, two hits, one run.”
Of course, Cora was joking. He subsequently explained Eovaldi would throw hard and mix up his stuff in an effort to exploit a favorable matchup against the Yankees. But Eovaldi’s actual stat line in the Red Sox’s 16-1 win over the Yankees in Game 3 ended up being eerily similar to Cora’s prediction: Seven innings, five hits, one run. He also struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
“Yeah, it was,” Cora told reporters in New York of whether the actual outcome was close enough for his liking. “We trust the guy. His stuff is that good. His fastball, 99, 100. The cutter, 94, 95. The split. And one thing with him, it really doesn’t matter. Like this stage, you guys saw it. It was unbelievable before the game and the first few innings, and he was just being Nate.
“Pitching in Tampa or pitching in Fenway or pitching in Yankee Stadium, he knows his stuff is good, and it’s just about executing, throwing strikes, and letting the defense do the job.”
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts couldn’t help but marvel at his manager’s amazing foresight.
“He made all the right decisions,” Bogaerts said, per MassLive.com. “He looks like a genius. I saw something that he said Eovaldi was going to pitch seven (innings) and one run. I don’t know who he said that to. He said that. He said that. And I’m like, ‘There’s no way he’s pitching him for the eighth.’ So just end it right there. He pitched seven and one. It was amazing. All the right buttons.”
Cora might want to make a prediction for Rick Porcello’s performance in Game 4 so we all know what to expect Tuesday night when the Red Sox, who lead the ALDS 2-0, look to eliminate the Yankees and advance to the AL Championship Series.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images