The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox kicked off the 2021 MLB Playoffs, in the American Wild Card Game. This was a very highly anticipated playoff matchup, considering these two teams history against each other. Some might even call it the greatest rivalry in sports.
The title of the game surely didn’t disappoint, as Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber kicked off the game for the Red Sox, both teeing off home runs to start the game 3-0 by the 3rd Inning.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone then took out ace Gerrit Cole from the game, after only just throwing 50 pitches. Cole let up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs, in only 2 total innings pitched.
Anthony Rizzo and the Yankees then struck back with a solo shot of his own. But just shortly after, Alex Verdugo doubled to deep right, almost clearing the infamous Fenway Pesky Pole. Which put the Sox up 4-1 in the 6th Inning.
Then again in the 7th Inning, Verdugo up to the plate, he delivered again. This time hitting a 2-run single, extending the Red Sox lead to 5.
Giancarlo Stanton added another solo home run for the Yankees in the 9th, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox beat the Yankees with a final score of 6-2.
What Went Well For Boston?
Boston’s overall play was exceptional, they hit well and drew many walks, and also pitched extremely well. Starter Nathan Eovaldi tossed 5.2 Innings, while fanning 8 batters. He only let up 1 earned run, while also giving up no free bases The Red Sox also had a near spotless bullpen, letting up 2 hits and 1 earned run to close out the rest of the game. Almost everyone in Boston’s lineup played great. With 7 of 9 of the batters having a OBP greater than .500. Red Sox hitters got on base seemingly anyway they could, combining for 7 hits, and 7 walks. This is the type of play you need for playoff baseball, and Boston delivered.
What Didn’t Go So Well For The Yankees
For the Yankees on the other hand, there were way too many flaws. Even though New York only had one less hit than Boston, it seemed like they had a lot less. Giancarlo Stanton logged half of the Yankees hits with 3, including a home run, and a single and a double, both of the Green Monster in left. New York’s pitching staff was also a major problem, as the Yankees bullpen had to fend for themselves early after starter Gerrit Cole was taken out in the 3rd inning.
What’s Next For These Two Teams?
Boston will now travel to Tampa Bay to to play Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday. Chris Sale could be an option for the Red Sox to start off the ALDS for Boston. If he is not healthy or ready, Eduardo Rodriguez or Nick Pivetta could also be chosen in Boston’s rotation. The Red Sox went 8-11 against the Rays in the 2021 Regular Season. Alex Cora’s squad will now try to find a way to upset the American League regular season champions, and fellow AL East rival.
The Yankees will now have to recoup and focus on next years options. Anthony Rizzo, Corey Kluber and Andrew Heaney will all be Free Agents this winter, giving New York the decision to re-sign them or not. They will also have to discuss whether or not to replace certain starters on their roster, like Gleyber Torres at shortstop.
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