The 100-win New York Yankees now find themselves one game from elimination. On Monday night in Game 3 of the ALDS, the visiting Boston Red Sox dominated the host Yankees thanks in large measure to a seven-run fourth inning that included a bases-loaded double and a triple with two runners on.
All the while, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, pitching on extra rest and then some, suffocated the powerful Yankee lineup for seven innings. Throw in some , and the Yankees were buried early in this one. The Sox made it last for an 16-1 win -- that's the most runs the Red Sox have ever scored in a road playoff game and the most lopsided loss in Yankees postseason history -- and a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five series. Brock Holt homered in the ninth off a position player to become the first player to record a cycle in postseason history.
Here's what you need to know about Red Sox vs. Yankees Game 3:
If you like velocity, then this one was for you
Game 3 pitted Nathan Eovaldi of the Sox against Luis Severino of the Yankees. Speaking of those two ...
Fastest Average Fastball Velocity— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) October 8, 2018
Luis Severino 97.6
Noah Syndergaard 97.4
Nathan Eovaldi 97.2
Severino and Eovaldi face each other in Game 3
Given that Noah Syndergaard isn't in the playoffs, this is the hardest-throwing possible matchup of starting pitchers in these playoffs. Eovaldi reminded Yankees leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen of this fact when he greeted him with 99 mph heat on the first pitch the Yankees saw in Game 3.
Nathan Eovaldi threw 22 pitches 100+ mph during the regular season. He's up to 5 pitches 100+ mph in today's start.— Inside Edge (@InsideEdgeScout) October 9, 2018
Eovaldi came into Game 3 on eight days' rest, and he was making his first playoff appearance. As such, he may have had some extra juices flowing.
Holt became the first to hit a postseason cycle
When he came up in the eighth, he was a homer shy of history. Then this happened ...
So, yes, to repeat: No one had ever hit for the cycle in the playoffs until Holt of the Red Sox in Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS against the Yankees. Holt also becomes the player every to hit for the cycle in a regular season game and a postseason game. It's also worth mentioning ...
... It came on a home run off a position player
As you may have noticed, that was Austin Romine delivering the meatball to Holt. Romine is better known as the Yankees' backup catcher, and with that he joins "elite" company ...
Sounds about right, given the absurdities of this contest.
The Red Sox scored their first four runs without an extra-base hit
"Death by a million paper cuts" was sort of Boston's approach in the early innings. Their first seven hits of the game were singles, they plated a pair of runs on outs, and Alex Cora's small ball tactical decisions paid off. It's certainly not a customary approach for a team that hit more than 200 home runs during the regular season and led the AL in doubles, but it worked in Game 3. As a partial consequence of keeping the line moving, Severino got into the Boston lineup for a third time by the fourth inning.
Boston's first extra-base hit was a big one
The Sox finally broke through with extra bases when Andrew Benintendi whacked a bases-loaded double in the fourth ...
As you see above, that made it 7-0.
It was over before by the middle of the fourth
Hey, it got worse for New York ...
That Brock Holt triple made it 10-0, and that point basic win expectancy gave the Red Sox a 99.3 percent chance of winning Game 3. Yes, the Yankees have a powerhouse offense, especially at home, but a 10-run deficit to the best team in baseball, even in the fourth inning, is pretty much determinative.
Speaking of that fourth inning ...
The @RedSox scored 7 runs in the 4th inning, tying the most runs ever scored in a postseason inning by any team at either Yankee Stadium.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 9, 2018
The last team to do it was the 2001 Mariners, who went on to score 14 runs, still the most in a Yankee Stadium postseason game.#DoDamage
Yep, the ritual beating was on.
Boone made a questionable bullpen decision
Certainly you can argue it wound up not mattering, but it was puzzling call to summon Lance Lynn with the bases loaded and no outs. Yeah, Lynn gets a few groundballs, but he's not enough of a groundball machine to justify dropping him into such a tight spot with the outcome still in doubt. Lynn also doesn't really miss many bats. That's a spot that begs for the one of the big arms in the Yankee bullpen who might be able K his way out of further damage. Instead, Lynn got charged with three runs and allowed three of the four batters he faced to reach. In a real way, Boone's decision took a bad situation and made it worse.
Our own Mike Axisa has more on.
Eovaldi continues to own the Yankees in 2018
In Game 3, Eovaldi wielded that elite velocity noted above and allowed only one run in seven innings of work while striking out five and walking none. Of his 97 pitches, 72 went for strikes, and he got 17 swings and misses. Here's some representative gas ...
Now let's take a look at Eovaldi's newly updated numbers against the Yankees this season ...
Lo: He is their daddy.
Angel Hernandez had a bad night
The much-maligned Hernandez was the first-base umpire in this one, and, well, he had... by the fourth inning. The third overturned call is a particularly bad one ...
Angel Hernandez was so bad in Game 3 that he should've been wearing pinstripes.
Porcello is set up nicely for Game 4
Cora surprised some when he tabbed Eovaldi to start Game 3. He did so because Rick Porcello, who had been penciled in for Game 3, was pressed into bullpen duty in Game 1. Although he threw only 15 pitches, Cora decided to go with Eovaldi and gave Porcello an extra day of rest. So Porcello will go Tuesday in Yankee Stadium rested in ready. In his final start of the regular season on Sept. 30, Porcello by design worked just two innings and threw just 40 pitches, and that start was on seven-days' rest. Framed another way, Porcello has thrown 55 game pitches since Sept. 22. Fatigue should not be a concern for the Boston right-hander going into the possible clincher.
The Yankees are on the brink
Yes, the Yankees are one loss from elimination. That means they must win Game 4 in Yankee Stadium and then win Game 5 at Fenway in order to advance to the ALCS. This past offseason, the Yankees declined to bring back then-manager Joe Girardi after he lost to the Astros in seven games in the ALCS. If they fall short of that, then, fair or not, Boone and front office are going to hear about it.
Cause for hope? Besides the eternally true notion that anything can happen in baseball, the Yankees this season have defeated the Red Sox in back-to-back games on three different occasions.
Up next: Game 4
The Red Sox and Yankees will be back at again in Game 4 at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET. Porcello, as noted, goes for the visitors, while veteran CC Sabathia takes the ball for the Yankees.
Relive the action with the Game 3 live blog. If the widget does not load, please.