Things did not look good for the Boston Red Sox as they made their way to the Bronx ahead of Game 3 of the 2018 American League Division Series.
The series with the New York Yankees was tied, but New York had all the momentum. New York bounced back in Game 2 to throttle David Price and was on the way home with a chance to take the series in the Bronx. Adding to their confidence was the fact ace Luis Severino was on the mound for a pivotal Game 3.
The Red Sox had other ideas, though, as they responded in the biggest of ways with an absolute drubbing of their rivals in the third game, coasting to a history-making 16-1 win.
You can see Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS at 8 p.m. Tuesday night on NESN. Here are a few things you might have forgotten about that game.
1. Judge’s gaffe
The story of Game 3 actually begins in the halls of Fenway Park after Game 2. The Yankees understandably were feeling good about their series-evening win and getting out of Boston with a split was a big deal. Aaron Judge, however, might have made a slight error when he decided to poke the bear by walking through the Fenway concourse — right by the Red Sox clubhouse — blaring Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” on a boombox.
“It’s a good song,” New York manager Aaron Boone said at the time. “And (Judge), he’s one of our resident DJs, so he’s got a pretty extensive playlist. I guess that’s the one that was going. We like to hear that song sometimes when we win a big game.”
The Red Sox insisted they weren’t bothered by it, but their actions in Game 3 — and beyond — seemed to indicate it proved some slight motivation for them.
2. Stop the fight
The Red Sox were able to break through in Game 3 with a run in the second and followed that up with a pair in the third, but there was nothing particularly impressive about pushing those runs across on an infield single, lineout and groundout. The real knockout blow, though, came in the fourth inning when the Sox chased Severino en route to a massive seven-run inning. Andrew Benintendi was the one who blew things wide open with a bases-clearing double off Lance Lynn (who was terrible), and then Brock Holt put the exclamation point on the inning with a two-run triple off Chad Green.
When it was all said and done, the Red Sox sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on six hits en route to the win.
3. Nasty Nate
Lost in the Red Sox’s offensive outburst and Holt’s historic night (more on that in a bit) was the performance of Nathan Eovaldi. The flame-throwing right-hander proved to be one of Dave Dombrowski’s top pickups during his time in Boston, as Eovaldi went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 appearances after the Sox acquired him for Jalen Beeks at the trade deadline. Eovaldi’s best work came in the playoffs, though, where he was a man on a mission, starting with this Game 3 performance. The Yankees had no chance, as Eovaldi breezed through seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits while filling up the strike zone with 72 of his 97 pitches going for strikes.
4. Holt the Hero
The real star of the night was Holt, who hit for the cycle for the second time in his career. Holt’s biggest hit was the aforementioned triple in the fourth inning that extended the Sox’s lead to 10-0 to completely put the game (and perhaps the series) away. He added on in the eighth inning with a ground-rule double that came real close to clearing the wall on the fly for a home run. Having already collected a single earlier in the game, Holt improbably got one last chance for the cycle in the ninth inning when he came to the plate against Yankees catcher Austin Romine, who was pitching in mop-up duty with the Red Sox leading 14-1. Holt jumped all over the first pitch he saw from Romine and snuck it over the right-field fence for the cycle — the first player in big league history to hit for a cycle in the playoffs.
“Well obviously yeah, I knew I needed to hit a home run,” Holt told reporters in New York. “I saw Romine was on the mound, so you get a little antsy when a position player is on the mound. I told everyone, ‘Get me up. I need a home run for a cycle.’ I was going to try to hit a home run, but I figured I’d ground out to first, be out in front of something. But I scooted up in the box a little bit, and I was going to be swinging at anything and try to hook anything. Obviously, you don’t expect to hit a home run, but I was trying to. I was trying to hit a home run. That’s probably the first time I’ve ever tried to do that. I rounded the bases, and seeing everybody going nuts in the dugout was a pretty cool moment for me.”