Can you survive watching the final three outs of ALDS Game 4?
When the Red Sox took the field in the bottom of the ninth inning of Tuesday night's ALDS Game 4 with a 4-1 lead, victory seemed pretty well in hand. They had one of the best and most consistent closers of the last decade on the mound in Craig Kimbrel. And while they did wind up beating the Yankees, 4-3, the final three outs were anything but drama-free.
If you're looking to relive the excitement of the bottom of the ninth, come along for the ride.
Aaron Judge leads off with a walk
The inning didn't take long to get going. There was no quick first out to lull Red Sox fans into a false sense of security. Instead, Kimbrel walked Judge on four pitches to get a runner on base from the start.
Four-pitch walk to Aaron Judge to start off the 9th inning... pic.twitter.com/eudHnkFqtm- YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 10, 2018
Giancarlo Stanton strikes out
After Didi Gregorius followed with a single to right field, the tying run came to the plate with no outs in the form of Stanton. With matters on the verge of getting out of hand, Kimbrel went to his curveball to get Stanton swinging for the first out:
Neil Walker drives in a run by getting hit
Unfortunately for the Red Sox -- but fortunately for thrill-seekers -- Kimbrel did not immediately settle down from there. Kimbrel followed the strikeout of Stanton by walking Luke Voit on four pitches to bring the winning run to the plate.
Kimbrel did not allow Walker to drive himself home and win the game. Instead, he hit him with the first pitch to bring in the first Yankees run of the inning.
65% odds this is about to become The Neil Walker Game.- Jon Tayler, Smiling Politely (@JATayler) October 10, 2018
If this comforts you at all, Joe Kelly is warming up.- Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) October 10, 2018
Gary Sanchez nearly walks it off
The thing with the Yankees' lineup is that there's danger lurking everywhere in the order. With the bases still loaded, Sanchez came to the plate. After a couple massive swings earlier in the at-bat, he got ahold of Kimbrel's 3-2 pitch and ... very nearly walked it off.
Talk about just missing it... 107.1 MPH at a 46 degree launch angle.- Daren Willman (@darenw) October 10, 2018
Steve Pearce stretches into the ALCS
Now with two outs, Gleyber Torres had another chance to walk it off, tie it up or, at the very least, keep the game alive for the Yankees. The second baseman hit a chopper to the left of the mound and looked like he had a chance to beat it out and bring another Yankee to the plate.
Thanks to some great defense from Eduardo Nunez and Pearce, the Red Sox ended the game instead.
Let's take another look at that stretch:
THE STEVE PEARCE STRETCH WILL LIVE ON FOREVER pic.twitter.com/SSYjeDhWgN- Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) October 10, 2018
Thanks to that stretch and Kimbrel's tightrope walking, the two winningest teams in baseball (Red Sox and Astros) will face off in the ALCS, beginning Saturday.