October 09, 2018
The only one who had a worse evening than the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Monday was first base umpire Angel Hernandez.
It was the most gut-wrenching scene witnessed by New York fans in Yankee Stadium history.
The Boston Red Sox humiliated the Yankees, 16-1, for the most lopsided loss in Yankee postseason history, marking only the fourth time a postseason game has been decided by at least 15 runs.
Wild night in Bronx: Red Sox take command of ALDS against Yankees
Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt, a utility player by trade, became the first player to hit for the cycle in postseason history.
“I'll remember for a long time," he said. "Obviously, you don't go into the game expecting to make history or do anything like that, but let alone score 16 runs against a good New York Yankee team."
It was a night the Yankees will never forget. It will haunt them all winter, as their season is on the brink, one loss from extinction.
The Red Sox are up 2 games to 1 in this American League Division Series with 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello on the mound Tuesday night and 2018 Cy Young candidate Chris Sale scheduled for Game 5, if needed.
The Red Sox, who made sure not to utter any inflammatory quotes, play music in their clubhouse, or troll the Yankees by playing Sweet Caroline on their way to the team bus, hope to save Sale for a possible Saturday Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros.
“Everybody is super-excited right now, doing something like this at a place like this. But it only counts for one win," said MVP favorite Mookie Betts, “We got to do it one more time.
“Then, you’ll see us really celebrate.’’
Really, as quiet as Yankee Stadium was this night, with most of the sellout crowd of 49,657 headed to the exits by the fifth inning, the Red Sox could have merely clapped their hands and you would have heard it reverberate throughout the stadium.
The Red Sox, equaling a Yankee Stadium postseason record by scoring seven runs in an inning (the fourth), giving them a 10-0 lead with Yankee-killer Nathan Eovadi on the mound, saved their biggest celebration for Holt in the ninth inning.
Holt, who asked Red Sox manager Alex Cora if he was sure that he would be starting in Game 3 when he received a text late Sunday, already had singled and tripled in the fourth inning, and doubled in the eighth, when he stepped to the plate in the ninth with catcher Austin Romine on the mound.
The Yankees, wanting to save their prized quartet of Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, David Robertson and Zach Britton for the rest of the series, decided to accept the indignity of employing a position player to pitch for only the second time in postseason history.
Holt wanted to punish them for the circus act.
“Well, obviously, yeah, I knew I needed a home run,’’ Holt said. “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.'
“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. ... That's probably the first time I've ever tried to do that.
“I rounded the bases, and seeing everyone going nuts in the dugout was a pretty cool moment for me. This one I'll remember for a long, long time. … Whenever you say first player ever to do something, I mean, that's crazy to even think about.’’
And to think that of the approximately 20,000 players to play in the major leagues, everyone from Babe Ruth to Jackie Robinson to Roberto Clemente to Barry Bonds to Mike Trout, Holt would achieve a feat never before accomplished on baseball’s biggest stage.
“I don’t know what the odds of him were becoming the first player to do that,’’ Betts said, “but whoever had him, is a rich man, for sure.’’
The Yankees need to shake off their first home playoff loss since 2015, spanning seven games, with their fans booing them off the field.
“No choice but to flush,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “The good thing (about) today is it’s one game, and as awful of a night as it was for us, we got to turn the page.
“[Tuesday’s] obviously do or die.’’
It’s hard to imagine the Yankees recovering from this debacle. This series is over.
Right?
Well, it was 14 years ago when the Yankees thought it was over, too, routing the Red Sox 19-8 in Game 3 to take a 3-0 lead in the ALCS, only to make history by becoming the first major-league team to lose the next four games.
We’ll see what happens, but right now, Cora has the magic tough. He overhauled his lineup Monday, benching Kinsler, third baseman Eduardo Nunez and catcher Sandy Leon, and replaced them with Rafael Devers, Holt and Christian Vazquez.
Voila!
The Red Sox unleashed 18 hits, 26 players reached base, and the new trio of subs went 6-for-18 with seven RBI and six runs. Plus, there was Holt’s cycle.
“I guess he’s got the crystal ball or something, huh?’’ Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez said.
Either that or someone should whisk him away to the casinos in Atlantic City.
“Play the Powerball tomorrow,’’ Cora said, “and hopefully, I can get it.’’
The Powerball can wait.
The only number the Red Sox are focused on now is one.
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