Boston Red Sox fans didn’t have much to cheer about Saturday night.
Ryan Brasier was one of the few bright spots, however.
The Red Sox reliever pitched a scoreless fifth inning with three strikeouts in Boston’s 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Brasier’s outing was highlighted by a verbal altercation with Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who drew Brasier’s ire after repeatedly stepping out of the batter’s box.
Here’s the heated the moment, in case you missed it:
So, what got the typically even-keeled Brasier so hot?
“It was a heat of the moment thing,” Brasier said after the game — which evened the ALDS at one game apiece — via WEEI’s John Tomase. “Adrenaline going and crowd was up. I just kind of got, was ready to go. That’s it, just one of those things — just a big moment and I was ready to throw the pitch.
“He stepped out of the box three times in a row and felt like it was time to do it regardless of whether he was ready or not.”
Brasier understandably was fired up after striking out Sanchez. The 31-year-old insisted he didn’t stare down the Yankees slugger, though.
“I wasn’t looking at him,” he said. “I was going back to the dugout. If I had to go back out for the next inning I was ready to go.”
Considering how shaky Brasier was in his playoff debut Friday night, his performance in Game 2 should instill confidence in Red Sox manager Alex Cora that he can trust the right-hander in big spots. Boston’s bullpen is in desperate need of someone capable of handling high-leverage situations.
The Sox and the Yankees will meet Monday night in Game 3 of the ALDS. First pitch at Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. ET.