The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees aren’t giving each other any bulletin board material ahead of their winner-take-all standoff Tuesday.
At least, the starting pitchers aren’t.
Two Major League Baseball All-Stars will take the mound opposite each other, with Nathan Eovaldi and Gerrit Cole looking to help their teams take the American League Wild Card Game and extend their season.
Cole knows what he’s up against against Eovaldi, and shared his high praise for the Red Sox starter Monday.
Eovaldi returned the sentiment.
“I’ve watched him and everything he does,” Eovaldi told reporters of Cole, who is 16-8 this season for New York with a 3.23 ERA in 30 starts.
“He’s easily a top five pitcher in the game right now. All his stuff’s electric. He commands the zone. He’s got four-plus pitches. It seems like every year he’s up at the top of the leader board with strikeouts, and he limits the walks and attacks the hitters. I mean, that’s some of the things that we’re going to have to be ready for tomorrow.”
Eovaldi has been one of Boston’s most trusted arms yet again, earning a 3.75 ERA over 32 starts with an 11-9 record on the mound. He’s recorded 195 strikeouts over the course of 182 1/3 innings pitched, and certainly knows his way around New York’s lineup — though his last start against the Pinstripes may not have gone as planned.
“I felt last time I faced these guys, it was a little mechanical, and if you fall behind in the counts, they are going to be able to do damage, and I wasn’t able to execute my off-speed pitches,” Eovaldi said. “So I am excited just to be able to redeem myself for the start tomorrow.”
First pitch between the Red Sox and Yankees is set for 8:08 p.m. ET on ESPN. NESN will have a full hour of pregame and postgame coverage Tuesday.