Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (Oct. 4, 2018 – Source: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images North America)
The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees in Game One of the American League Divisional Series 5-4. Chris Sale was the starter for Boston and J.A. Happ did so for New York. With the victory, the Red Sox lead the series 1-0. The game was played at Fenway Park in Boston.
For the first half, it was all smooth sailing (get it?) for the Red Sox. Behind a phenomenal performance from the enigmatic (of late) Sale, Boston appeared poised to command the whole way. The southpaw, whose velocity, or lack thereof, has been a divisive topic, came out firing.
He consistently sat around 95 mph, which is aligned with vintage Chris Sale. He ended up pitching 5 and 1/3 innings of two earned run ball. This was accompanied by eight strikeouts and two walks. Moreover, he was not on the mound when his two earned runs were charged to him.
The Red Sox offense was also firing early with a three-run homerun off the bat of J.D. Martinez in the 1st. The homer was a bullet line drive into the first row of the Green Monster seats.
With a 3-0 lead, the Sox tagged on two more in the bottom 3rd. Yankee killer Steve Pearce singled against Chad Green to make it a 4-0 advantage. This was briskly made a 5-0 game on a Xander Bogaerts sac fly two batters later.
The contest was not without drama, however. Boston’s bullpen made it an anxiety-inducing affair. Brasier forfeited his two inherited runners from Sale, allowing Luke Voit to continue his Red Sox destroying ways with an RBI single.
The 7th presented even more obstacles, as Alex Cora opted to leave Brandon Workman, who narrowly escaped the 6th, in to begin the inning. He promptly allowed two runners to reach. It took some Matt Barnes sorcery to get the Red Sox out of the 7th with a 5-3 lead.
In the 8th, Boston interestingly went with Rick Porcello, the tabbed Game Three starter. He only pitched 2/3 of an inning but did so without much trouble. Kimbrel picked up the last out of the frame and ran into early trouble in the 9th. Aaron Judge blasted a solo-shot to commence the inning, pushing it to 5-4. He managed to strikeout the side after that, including behemoths Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit.