FENWAY PARK — Alex Cora, Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi & Kyle Schwarber spoke to the media after the Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 6-2 on Tuesday winning the American League Wild Card Game and advancing to the ALDS, where they will play the Tampa Bay Rays.
In 20 games against the Yankees in 2021, the Red Sox were 11-9. Yankees OF Aaron Judge attempted to score in the 6th inning when the Red Sox got him on an 8-6-2 putout (Hernández, Bogaerts, Plawecki). Boston led MLB with 43 outfield assists during the regular season, their most in a season since 1987 (47).
“To be able to play in October, we’re blessed, you know?…We were lucky, and that’s a great group of guys. They’ve been amazing throughout the process. It’s been a rollercoaster.”
Cora was asked about the decision to pull Nathan Eovaldi early:
“He gave me this look like, ‘What are you doing? He looked at me like ‘What are you doing?’ But it was just such a tough game to manage.”
Xander Bogaerts finished the game 1-for-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB and hit a 2-run HR off Gerrit Cole in the 1st inning, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. He also walked in the 6th inning and scored from first base on a double into the right field corner by Alex Verdugo. Bogaerts believes the turning point was when Boston threw out Aaron Judge in the 6th inning: “the game changed right there to be honest with you. If that run scored with a guy on second base that momentum changes right there. Our outfield is one of the best.”
Nathan Eovaldi was on his game tonight finishing his day with 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 8 SO while holding the Yankees scoreless on 2 hits (both singles) through 5.0 innings before allowing 1 run and 2 hits in the 6th. Prior to Nathan tonight, the last 2 Red Sox pitchers with 8+ SO and 0 BB in a Postseason game were David Price in Game 5 of the 2018 ALCS at HOU (6.0 IP, 9 SO) and John Lackey in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS at DET (6.2 IP, 8 SO). Eovaldi Is 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and .188 opponent AVG in 7 career Postseason appearances (3 GS, 27.2 IP, 19 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 24 SO) and has won each of his first 3 career Postseason starts (also 2 in 2018). Including the regular season, the Red Sox have won 8 of Eovaldi’s last 9 starts and 9 of his last 11. Nathan was asked about the early hook from Alex Cora and said: “it’s obviously frustrating but I understand the situation and everything.” He also talked about attacking the zone tonight saying: “A lineup like that, you have to prevent the ball from leaving the ballpark and attack the zone, … I feel like if you can attack the zone, it’s going to make your job a little bit easier out there.”
Kyle Schwarber finished the day 1-for-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB and hit a solo HR in the 3rd inning, extending the Sox’ lead to 3-0. In 25 career Postseason games, is batting .290/.410/.609/1.018 with 7 HR and 12 RBI (20-for-69, 12 R, 14 BB). Kyle talked about the energy at Fenway park and said: “The crowd went nuts, and you feed off that energy, you thrive for that, and Red Sox Nation brought it tonight, … And we needed it. You can’t say enough about the crowd tonight.” “I don’t think there’s many people that picked us to win in this game,” Schwarber said after the game. “We all had faith in ourselves, we knew that what we were going to go out there and do tonight. We just had to execute. And we did. So we’re gonna enjoy tonight.”
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