As the Boston Red Sox’s manager, Alex Cora needs to do what’s best for the team — even if it means starting someone who’s unsure he deserves to play.
Cora overhauled the Red Sox’s lineup for Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, giving Brock Holt, Christian Vazquez and Rafael Devers their first starts of the postseason. Cora’s moves paid off in spades, but the player who had the most success apparently was surprised to hear he was getting the call.
From Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan:
Turns out Cora was sure. And it turns out he knew exactly what he was doing, as Holt finished 4-for-6 with five RBIs and three runs scored while recording the first postseason cycle in Major League Baseball history to help Boston rout New York 16-1 at Yankee Stadium.
Holt did have reason to be skeptical: He entered the night 1-for-15 in his lifetime against Yankees starter Luis Severino with six strikeouts. He’s also been one of the Red Sox’s hottest hitters, though, posting a .354 batting average and ridiculous 1.123 OPS over the final month of the regular season.
“He’s been swinging the bat well for a while now,” Cora said of Holt after the game, via MassLive.com. “We felt the matchup was good for him (Monday), although he was 0-for-whatever coming into the game against Severino. He’s been able to catch up with fastballs headed the other way, breaking balls, and pull it with power.”
Good thing Cora trusts you, Brock.
Holt’s big night has Boston within one game of advancing to the next round, as the Red Sox take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Tuesday night.