The Yankees had it set up exactly how they would want. They split the first two games of the ALDS in Boston and returned to the Bronx with a 1-1 series tie. However, as the old adage goes, it was all downhill from there.
Luis Severino got the ball for the pivotal Game 3. From the get-go, Severino didn’t have it. He struggled with command and his fastball was only around 96 mph. The Yankees were able to get out of the first unscathed.
The Red Sox would strike first in the second inning. Severino couldn’t handle a weak comebacker off the bat of Christian Vazquez, and Rafael Devers scored to make it 1-0. The Red Sox would add two more in the third, but saved the heavy lifting for the fourth inning.
Off the Rails
Aaron Boone let Severino begin the inning despite having Lance Lynn warming up in the third. Severino loaded the bases, and instead of going to Chad Green or David Robertson, Boone called for Lynn. Lynn walked in a run before allowing a bases-clearing double to Andrew Benintendi.
By the time it was all said and done, the Yankees dropped Game 3, 16-1. Brock Holt became the first player in postseason history to hit for the cycle. The Yankees were thoroughly embarrassed.
The Yankees turned to CC Sabathia to keep their season alive. Sabathia was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning. Aaron Hicks flirted with a lead-off home run but ended up flying out to the warning track. Rick Porcello would baffle the Yankee bats and allow the Red Sox an opportunity to strike first.
Sabathia hit Benintendi leading off the third inning , and again Boston would strike first. Boone again gave his starting pitcher too long of a leash and Sabathia gave up three runs. Zach Britton came in for the fourth and gave up a lead-off home run to Vazquez.
One Last Chance
The Yankees were down 4-0 with 18 outs to save their season. After Britton allowed the lead-off home run, the Yankees bullpen was near perfect. They were able to limit the damage and keep the Red Sox at 4.
The Yankees bats were quiet for much of the night. The only run they had going to the ninth was via a sac fly by Brett Gardner. The Red Sox called upon Craig Kimbrel to protect the three-run lead.
Kimbrel was shaky at best. He walked Aaron Judge on four straight pitches and allowed a single to Didi Gregorius. Didi’s single set the stage for Giancarlo Stanton to be the hero.
Stanton stepped to the box as the tying run. Stanton let a first pitch, hanging slider to go by for strike one. The moment looked to get the better of Stanton and he flailed at more Kimbrel sliders to strikeout.
The Yankees eventually loaded the bases and had two chances to at least tie the game. Gary Sanchez battled Kimbrel and gave fans a brief glimmer of hope. Sanchez came up just a few feet short of hitting a game-winning grand slam. Gleyber Torres grounded out weakly to third and just like that the 2018 season was over.
It was a disappointing end to such a promising season. The Yankees won 100 games, so it’s tough to call the season a failure. However, 2018 will certainly go down as a disappointment.