Baseball’s biggest rivalry extended last night as the Boston Red Sox handily defeated the New York Yankees.
The boys in Beantown beat New York 6-2 at home in front of a sellout crowd of 38,324, the third consecutive time Boston has eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs.
You wanted Boston?
You got Boston. pic.twitter.com/iBVhNddoSk
— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 6, 2021
State Of Play
Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber homered off Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, and Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi took a shutout into the sixth inning as New York could muster only two solo home runs of offense in the one-game playoff American League wild-card game.
Giancarlo Stanton had hit a towering fly ball to left field in the first inning. Fenway Park’s Green Monster, a notorious home run swallower, looked defeated — until it wasn’t.
The fly ball hit the higher part of the Monster and bounced back in play, where Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo was there to make a quick play.
AARON JUDGE SPRINTING AROUND THIRD AND DIVES IN SAFE!!
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) October 6, 2021
However, did Aaron Judge let the culture down?
Bogaerts also cut down Aaron Judge at the plate in the sixth. However, Judge made it crystal clear that he wants to be a Yankee for life. Judge is heading into his final offseason before he’s due to hit the free agency period.
Aaron Judge's walk-off hit was his 8th go-ahead hit in the 8th inning or later this season, T-most in MLB. That is the most by a Yankees player in a season in the Expansion Era (since 1961).
It was also Judge's first walk-off hit. pic.twitter.com/4M1Zm3nlET
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 3, 2021
“I want to be a Yankee for life,” Judge said in the Yankees’ season-ending news conference. “I want to wear the pinstripes for the rest of my career. You never know what the future holds for you. Whatever happens on the flip side, with contracts and trades that are out of my control.”
Judge has a final year of arbitration before he’s due to become a free agent. However, there is uncertainty with free agency, and Judge said “I guess you can say that” when he was asked if decisions made in the offseason would decide his Yankees franchise future.
Ever since Aaron Judge started playin’ his tunes at Fenway following Game 2 of the ‘18 ALDS, the Red Sox have outscored the Yankees 26-6 in postseason games pic.twitter.com/PTKnjgZdyt
— Fitzy Mo Peña (@FitzyMoPena) October 6, 2021
A Rivalry Like No Other
Now the Red Sox march on to the next phase.
“Now, we go to the next one, and we’ve just got to be ready to face a great baseball team,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Coming into the season, everybody talked about them being the best team in the big leagues, and we have a huge challenge. But we’re ready for it.”
— MLB (@MLB) October 6, 2021
The Yankees lead the majors with 27 World Series championships. However, they have not won it all since 2009.
After unsuccessfully positioning a matchup with the Red Sox in a potential tiebreaker, the Yankees instead wound up in Boston for the wild-card game.
Ironically, with more than 100 years of history of the rivalry, rarely have the two teams faced off in the postseason. The two teams play in the same division. Only one team per division could reach the postseason until the 1995 introduction of the wild-card and division series.
LET IT BEGIN, BOYS.🍾 pic.twitter.com/ZX7VJbXYGV
— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 6, 2021
It was the largest attendance at Fenway Park since the 2018 World Series, a contrast to a year ago when the baseball postseason lived in a coronavirus team bubble.
With the fifth playoff matchup between the two, Boston has edged out the Yankees 3-2. That doesn’t count the 1978 AL East tiebreaker, which technically was the 163rd regular-season game.
Game 1 of the Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays series happens Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.