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Yankees pushed to brink after Game 3 blowout

October 8, 2018

NEW YORK -- The raucous home-field advantage the Yankees have grown accustomed to enjoying over the last two postseasons departed early from the corner of East 161st Street and River Avenue on Monday evening, as Luis Severino was rocked for six runs over three-plus innings in a 16-1 loss to

NEW YORK -- The raucous home-field advantage the Yankees have grown accustomed to enjoying over the last two postseasons departed early from the corner of East 161st Street and River Avenue on Monday evening, as Luis Severino was rocked for six runs over three-plus innings in a 16-1 loss to the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
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The rout set a franchise record for runs allowed in a postseason game and represents the largest margin of defeat for a home team in Major League postseason history, snapping the Bombers' seven-game home postseason win streak and placing their backs against the wall. Now trailing two games to one in the series, they must win Tuesday's Game 4 in order to extend their season.
"A loss is a loss," Aaron Judge said. "It really doesn't matter if it's a blowout or you lose by one run. The end result is, you lose. It's all the same. … We got down to Cleveland last year 2-0 and fought out of that hole. Losing one game, it's nothing new. We've got to prepare and get ready for tomorrow."
Mookie Betts crushed Severino's first pitch to the warning track in center field, and there weren't many missed bats after that. Experiencing a velocity dip compared to his four-plus inning start in the AL Wild Card Game -- coupled with a minor controversy about his pregame warmup routine -- Severino allowed frequent hard contact as Boston peppered the righty for three runs and five hits through the first three innings.
"I didn't feel I was on top of my game; the fastball command wasn't there," Severino said. "When you're not commanding your stuff against a lineup like this, you get in trouble."
After a noisy third inning prompted activity in the bullpen, manager Aaron Boone issued Severino too much rope in the fourth, promptly loading the bases on two hits and a walk. All three runs scored, charged to Severino's ledger, as Lance Lynn entered and issued a run-scoring walk to Betts and a bases-clearing double to Andrew Benintendi.
"We really felt like Sevy could at least get us a couple of outs in that fourth inning before turning it over to Lynn, and then we could roll out our guys," Boone said. "But we couldn't stop the bleeding at all."

Steve Pearce belted a run-scoring single off Chad Green and Brock Holt -- en route to hitting for the first cycle in postseason history -- legged out a two-run triple as the Red Sox broke the game open with a seven-run frame. That was plenty, with former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi dazzling in a seven-inning, one-run performance.

"We just couldn't get anything going," Judge said. "He was pounding the strike zone well against us. We weren't able to get that big hit when we needed to early, especially once we got down one run, two runs, seven runs. It's kind of tough to climb out of that hole."

In the history of best-of-five series with the 2-2-1 format, clubs with a 2-1 lead going into Game 4 on the road have taken the series 19 of 27 times (70 percent). Of those 19 series victories, 15 ended in Game 4.
"Tomorrow is a must-win game for us," Brett Gardner said. "We've been in this position before with the Wild Card Game, so we know what we've got to do. I know the guys will respond."

Though Severino retired Boston on three flyouts in the first, he wasn't fooling them. Three of the first four balls put in play registered exit velocities of 100 or more mph, including Rafael Devers' single that opened the second inning. Devers stole second and scored on Christian Vazquez's single off the pitcher's glove.

The top of the Red Sox order delivered in the third inning, as Betts and Benintendi opened the frame with singles, setting up J.D. Martinez's sacrifice fly and a Devers fielder's choice as activity spurred in the New York bullpen. Lynn sat down when Severino completed the inning, then resumed warming after the first two batters reached in the fourth.
"I didn't think [Severino] was overly sharp from the get-go," Boone said. "I thought stuff-wise he was OK. He certainly didn't seem as electric as his last time out."

Trailing by double digits, New York pushed across a fourth-inning run as Luke Voit legged out an infield single, advanced on a Giancarlo Stanton hit and scored on a Didi Gregorius fielder's choice that was overturned by review.
Stephen Tarpley allowed three runs in the eighth inning, making his postseason debut, and Austin Romine -- making his first pitching appearance since high school -- surrendered a two-run homer that completed Holt's cycle in the ninth.

"The good thing about today is it's one game," Boone said. "As awful of a night as it was for us, we've got to turn the page. Tomorrow is obviously do or die."
The 16 runs shattered a Yankees franchise record for runs allowed in a postseason game, surpassing a 15-2 loss to the D-backs in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series at Arizona. It marked the sixth time the Yankees have allowed at least 13 runs in a postseason game. They are 4-2 in the following games, each of which occured in the same series.

The Yankees successfully challenged a play at first base in the fourth inning, as Gregorius was initially ruled out on a 4-6-3 double play. After review, Gregorius was shown to be safe and the call was overturned. Gregorius was credited with an RBI on the fielder's choice, which turned out to be New York's only run.

"There's a lot of fight in this room. I know our fans will respond and come back out tomorrow just like they did tonight. Hopefully we'll give them a little more to cheer about." -- Gardner

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.