Boston Finishes off New York to move on to ALCS

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The Boston Red Sox finished off the 2018 regular season with 108 wins. That number will go down as the most wins by any Red Sox team ever, surpassing the record that sat at 105 since 1912. That earned them the number one seed in the American League playoffs, and would face the winner of the Yankees vs A’s Wild Card game.

After a 7-2 Yankees win, they would travel to Boston to face the Red Sox for the first two games of the best of five series.

The pitching matchup in game one was Chris Sale against J.A. Happ. Sale was ready to go as he struck out the side in the first inning. Then after a single by Andrew Benintendi and a walk by Steve Pearce, J.D. Martinez stepped in and sent a rocket to left field that just snuck over the green monster. The home run put the Red Sox up 3-0.

Later, in the bottom half of the third inning, the Red Sox would score 2 more runs.  A single from Pearce drove in Mookie Betts, who had doubled to lead off the inning.  Following a sacrifice fly from Xander Bogaerts that scored Benintendi, Boston led 5-0. Sale would pitch into the sixth inning, being removed after he gave up singles Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Sale was lights out, pitching 5.1 innings, striking out 8 Yankee batters. The Yankees wound up scoring four runs, but it would end up not being enough as the Red Sox won 5-4, and took a 1-0 series lead.

In game two, the Yankees came out strong with an Aaron Judge blast off David Price, whose playoff struggles continued. Gary Sanchez added on with a pair of homeruns of his own. He hit one in the 2nd inning to put the Yankees up 2-0, and then another in the top of the 7th to extend the Yankee lead to 6-1. Boston’s only two runs came from a Bogaerts home run, and a RBI double off the left field wall from Ian Kinsler. Masahiro Tanaka pitched five solid innings for New York, allowing only 3 hits. The Yankee bullpen did a good job of holding down the Boston hitters, allowing flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, to complete the win and tie the series.

The series would move to the Bronx for games three and four.

In Game three, the Red Sox had an offensive explosion, scoring 10 runs in 4 innings, and later adding on 6 more runs. The Red Sox went on to win 16-1. Nathan Eovaldi became a postseason hero with his fantastic start, pitching 7 innings with 5 strikeouts. He only allowed one run which did not matter in the end. Brock Holt was also a hero for the Red Sox, as he hit for the the cycle. That was the first cycle in postseason history, and it came at the right time for the Red Sox, as game 3 felt like a must win.

After the 16-1 win the Sox had taken a 2-1 series lead with Rick Porcello starting game four. Boston looked to close it out in Yankee Stadium as they did fourteen years ago in 2004. The scoring began in the top of the third, when J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Benintendi. Kinsler then ripped a RBI double over the head of Brett Gardner in left field. Pearce would come around to score and make it 2-0. Kinsler would then come around to score after a single by Eduardo Nunez.

Catcher Christian Vasquez, who started the rally a night before, continued his hot streak with an opposite field home run in the top of the fourth to extend the Red Sox lead to 4-0. Porcello pitched 5 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 run. The Bullpen would hold off the Yankee offense until the ninth inning, when Craig Kimbrel came in and let the pressure get to him. Kimbrel would load the bases and walk in 2 runs, as the lead shrunk to 4-3. Finally, Gleyber Torres would ground out to Nunez at third base for the last out.

Boston will now play in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. The Astros eliminated them last year in the division series. Boston will be looking to have a different outcome this year, and try to advance to the World Series for the first time since 2013.

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Clifford is a junior here at New England College majoring in Communication Studies. He has played baseball all his life and his dream is to make it to the majors one day. He is a baseball player here at NEC, and is also very interested in sports broadcasting because of his love for sports.
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