The Boston Red Sox topped the New York Yankees 6-2 in Tuesday’s American League Wild Card Game.
They were in command from the very beginning and overcame an ace and a top bullpen to achieve their goal.
Here are the three primary reasons why they were able to pull off the mild upset.
3. A Notorious Baserunning Blunder By The Yankees
The sixth inning of the Wild Card Game was eventful for the Yankees.
Aaron Judge followed with a single to the shallow infield.
The center fielder Kike Hernandez played the bounce quickly and threw to the relay man, Xander Bogaerts, who fired a strike to home to nail Judge.
KIKE HERNANDEZ AND XANDER BOGAERTS GUNS DOWN AARON JUDGE AG HOME PLATEpic.twitter.com/joBD0gsb3y
— Alex Verdugo Fan Club (92-70) (@VerdugoBetter) October 6, 2021
Had that run scored, the Yankees would have been down 3-2 with one out and a man on second base, since Stanton reached it on the throw home.
If third base coach Phil Nevin had stopped Judge at third, as he should have, the Bombers would have had runners on the corners with just one out.
Instead, they were down 3-1, with two outs and a man at second, and Joey Gallo was retired with a popup to end the inning.
The Yankees led the league in outs at home plate during the regular season, with 22.
That play could have changed the outcome of the game.
2. Nathan Eovaldi
The Red Sox’s starter, Eovaldi, was dealing all night long from the mound.
He completed the first five innings with only two hits allowed, no runs, no walks, and seven strikeouts.
After striking out Rougned Odor to open the sixth, he allowed a long homer to Rizzo and an infield single to Judge before being pulled.
All in all, he finished his night with 5.1 innings, one run, no walks, and eight punchouts.
It was a masterful performance in which he missed 13 bats and pumped 99-mph fastballs by Yankees hitters.
He was significantly better than his counterpart, Gerrit Cole, who couldn’t get an out in the third frame and was out of the game by then.
He gave the Red Sox a chance to win.
1. Patience At The Plate
Patience at the plate dictated the outcome of the game.
The Yankees couldn’t figure out Eovaldi: he had a few mistakes early in counts, with a few pitches in the fat part of the zone, but the Yankees either let them pass by or swung and missed.
Instead, they often found themselves down in the count and had to get defensive.
The Bombers earned zero walks on the night, and that won’t do it.
On the other hand, the Red Sox weren’t fooled by Cole’s stuff and waited for the right pitch to pounce.
They hit four balls at higher than 95 mph, and worked two walks against him.
Yankees: 7 Walks
Red Sox: 0 Walks
— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) October 6, 2021
Boston had the discipline to lay off the bad pitches and punish the good ones.
The Yankees didn’t, and their offense was limited to two solo home runs as a result.