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American League Division Series presented by T-Mobile

Sale rewards Cora's 'all in' call with 1-2-3 8th

Red Sox ace serves as bridge to 9th in series-clinching win
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- For three days, Chris Sale pestered his manager, anticipating the opportunity that was to come. Sale, who started the Red Sox's American League Division Series Game 1 win over the Yankees, told manager Alex Cora he wanted to pitch in relief in Game 4. He cajoled. He made himself a nuisance.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on TBS

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NEW YORK -- For three days, Chris Sale pestered his manager, anticipating the opportunity that was to come. Sale, who started the Red Sox's American League Division Series Game 1 win over the Yankees, told manager Alex Cora he wanted to pitch in relief in Game 4. He cajoled. He made himself a nuisance.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on TBS

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When Sale arrived at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, he played his final card. Approaching Cora, Sale reiterated that he wanted the ball at some point, then turned and walked away without waiting for a response.

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

Cora laughed.

"I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing," Sale said afterward. "But I feel like it worked out."

Throwing a perfect eighth inning in Boston's 4-3, series-clinching victory over the Yankees, Sale built a bridge between Boston's middle relievers and closer Craig Kimbrel, securing three outs in a game the Red Sox won with the potential tying run at second base. Rather than start a decisive Game 5 at Fenway Park, Sale helped ensure the series wouldn't go that far.

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"He did an outstanding job, passed the baton to Craig and we closed the deal," Cora said.

Coy before the game, Cora said he would only use Sale in a "perfect" situation, content to lean on Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier and his other trusted relievers. Boston's Game 1 starter, Sale threw 93 pitches Friday at Fenway Park, after shoulder inflammation limited him to 17 innings over the final two months of the regular season.

In truth, Cora spent his pregame hours planning for this, consulting Boston's training staff about Sale's availability. Everything checked out. So as Brasier sliced through his three allotted batters in the seventh, Cora huddled with pitching coach Dana LeVangie and bench coach Ron Roenicke to make the final decision. Caught up in the moment, Cora called down the dugout: "Hey, we're all in! He's coming in."

"He's Chris Sale," Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts said. "In a game like this, you've got to bring out your big dog."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Cora on Sale, series victory vs. Yanks

Boston's big dog went 11-4 with a 2.04 ERA over the season's first four months, before shoulder trouble shortened his season. Anticipating Sale's importance in October, the Red Sox bubble wrapped him as they cruised to the AL East title, waiting until ALDS Game 1 to unleash their ace in full.

Four days later, Sale jogged out of the bullpen and set to work. Entering a game in the eighth inning or later for the first time since 2012, Sale needed just 13 pitches to dispatch the Yankees in order. Gleyber Torres flew out to the warning track. Pinch-hitter Andrew McCutchen grounded out to third. Aaron Hicks struck out looking on a slider that dove toward the bottom edge of the zone. In the process, Sale reduced the Yankees' Fangraphs win expectancy from 9 percent to 3.5 percent.

"That's pretty much game over," infielder Brock Holt said.

Boston still had to survive a Yankees rally against Kimbrel in the ninth, but by that point, all of Cora's most difficult decisions -- and there were several -- were in the books. The Sox's lone series loss occurred in Game 2, when they mustered merely two runs at Fenway Park. Given a chance to tweak the lineup following that game, Cora made wholesale changes, replacing his catcher and three-quarters of his infield. The new players combined to go 9-for-22 with seven runs and eight RBIs in Game 3, including Holt, who hit for the first cycle in postseason history.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Red Sox hold on in 9th to reach ALCS

When Holt returned to the bench in Game 4, that move worked, too; his replacement, Ian Kinsler, hit an RBI double during Boston's three-run, third-inning rally. Cora's decision to flip starters Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello also bore fruit when they combined to allow two runs in 12 innings in Games 3 and 4, putting the Sox on the verge of a clinch.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Porcello tosses 5 innings of 1-run ball

To complete it, the Sox needed a dozen outs from a bullpen that posted a 4.28 ERA after the All-Star break -- 19th in the Majors, worst of any playoff team over that stretch. Cora turned first to Barnes and then to Brasier, each recording three quick outs. Then he called for Sale.

"I had a lot of confidence that he was going to get the job done," Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Barnes on Cora pushing the right buttons

Nothing, of course, is automatic. It was just last year that Sale made his postseason debut at age 28, going 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA in two ALDS outings. In the first of them, he allowed seven runs. In the second, he came on in relief and allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings.

Sale called that experience "as bad as it can possibly get," but also the type of thing that prepared him for Tuesday -- the type of thing he will take with him into ALCS Game 1, which he is scheduled to start Saturday night against the Astros at Fenway Park.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Cora on getting ready for the Astros

"You learn more from your mistakes sometimes than you do your successes," Sale said. "You try to flip the script and be better from it."

What Sale envisioned was something like this. Thronged by reporters and cameras in the Sox's postgame clubhouse, Sale wore a backwards cap with ski goggles pushed up onto it. He looked over the crowd to a spot near the wall, where one of his teammates was spraying him with champagne. Then Sale excused himself.

"I think," he said, "it's time to celebrate a little more."

Anthony DiComo has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale

Cora aced first postseason test with Red Sox

Rookie manager pushed all the right buttons during intense ALDS
MLB.com

This is a baseball world where you sometimes get the idea that it's general managers and all their analytics trying to manage these games, and even control them from upstairs. But sometimes it is still the real managers, down in the dugout and close to the action, who come away from the biggest games looking like stars. Alex Cora comes away from the first American League Division Series of his managerial career looking like that kind of star. And a total star at that.

Of course Cora did not get an out or get a hit against the Yankees. Of course all he could do was watch, dying along with all of Red Sox Nation in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday night, when it looked as if the Yankees were going to come back from down, 4-1, to square the series and take the whole thing back to Fenway. Even though Cora had done just about everything right for these two remarkable baseball nights at Yankee Stadium, he made you think back to the 1979 World Series, when Earl Weaver famously looked like a managing rock star, pushing all the right buttons as his Orioles got ahead of the Pirates three games to one.

This is a baseball world where you sometimes get the idea that it's general managers and all their analytics trying to manage these games, and even control them from upstairs. But sometimes it is still the real managers, down in the dugout and close to the action, who come away from the biggest games looking like stars. Alex Cora comes away from the first American League Division Series of his managerial career looking like that kind of star. And a total star at that.

Of course Cora did not get an out or get a hit against the Yankees. Of course all he could do was watch, dying along with all of Red Sox Nation in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday night, when it looked as if the Yankees were going to come back from down, 4-1, to square the series and take the whole thing back to Fenway. Even though Cora had done just about everything right for these two remarkable baseball nights at Yankee Stadium, he made you think back to the 1979 World Series, when Earl Weaver famously looked like a managing rock star, pushing all the right buttons as his Orioles got ahead of the Pirates three games to one.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on TBS

That year, Weaver actually had baseball writers suggesting he ought to be MVP if the Orioles won. Then his players stopped making pitches and getting hits, and the Pirates came back to win the World Series. So, yeah, Cora could only watch in the bottom of the ninth as closer Craig Kimbrel loaded the bases. Cora could only watch as Kimbrel looked as if he might have given up what would have been one of the famous home runs in Red Sox-Yankees history to Gary Sanchez, before the big fly Sanchez hit came down and into Andrew Benitendi's glove and became such the sacrifice fly that made it 4-3.

Video: Must C Crucial: Sox close dramatic 9th to clinch ALDS

But in the end, Cora's team survived, and advanced, because he changed his lineup and helped change the energy and momentum of a 1-1 series on Monday night when he benched Ian Kinsler, Eduardo Nunez and Sandy Leon and replaced them with Rafael Devers, Brock Holt and Christian Vazquez in what became a 16-1 beatdown for the Red Sox -- the worst defeat for the Yankees in all of their grand postseason history.

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

Here is the offense that trio provided Monday, starting with Holt, who became the first player in history to hit for the cycle in the postseason:

Eight hits, seven RBIs, six runs scored.

"I honestly don't know how you come back from [16-1]," Reggie Jackson was saying on the field before Game 4.

On Tuesday night, Cora went right back to Kinsler and Nunez and stayed with Vazquez against CC Sabathia. Kinsler ripped an RBI double over Brett Gardner's head in left and Nunez had an RBI single to left that made the game 3-0, and made the Stadium feel as if the Red Sox were three touchdowns ahead -- especially after what had happened the night before. And by the way? Kinsler had come within a few feet of hitting a grand slam home run off Sabathia in the top of the first.

When Aaron Boone -- who didn't manage like a star in this series, a year after replacing Joe Girardi, who had the Yankees within one victory of the World Series in 2017 -- did get Sabathia out of there and replaced him with Zach Britton, Vazquez hit the home run to right that eventually was the difference.

"Good teams go home at this time of year," Gardner would say later in the Yankee clubhouse. "Great teams move on."

Sometimes the teams moving on are helped mightily by great managing, which is exactly what the Red Sox got from Cora when the series moved from Fenway to New York. He did not stay too long with his own starter Rick Porcello, as well and efficiently as Porcello had pitched in Game 4. Cora, whose parents once lived 30 years in New York City, trusted a bullpen that nearly gave away Game 1, going first with Matt Barnes and then Ryan Brasier. Then he went with a starter in the eighth -- his best starter, his ace, Chris Sale -- the same as he had gone with Porcello when needing outs in the eighth inning of Game 1.

And Sale, who will still start Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros on Saturday night, was filthy, getting the side in order before Kimbrel turned the ninth into the opera. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would talk after the game about how as much as Cora has embraced analytics, "He manages with his gut, too."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Cora on going with Porcello in Game 4

More than six hours before the Stadium would try to rise up the way the Yankees tried to rise up in the ninth and get themselves at least one more night of season, somebody asked Cora about Porcello's lack of success in the postseason, before he went out and pitched the way he pitched in Game 4.

Cora smiled and quietly said, "He's never pitched for me."

Cora trusted Porcello. He rested Sale with what he'd suggested before the game would be an "all-in" decision if he went to him. He trusted Devers and Holt and Vazquez in Game 3, and then he renewed his trust in Nunez and Kinsler in Game 4.

The 2018 Red Sox, with 111 wins in the books so far, are a team of stars; none bigger over the last two games than Cora.

"Some people are afraid of games like these," said Jackson, who never was.

Nor was the rookie manager of the Red Sox.

Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com and the New York Daily News.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox top rival Yanks, to host Astros in ALCS

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- How would this 108-win machine the Red Sox built fare in the playoffs?

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NEW YORK -- How would this 108-win machine the Red Sox built fare in the playoffs?

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Red Sox celebrate ALDS victory

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Judging by the joyous pile-up that took place at Yankee Stadium -- the ultimate enemy territory -- they are off to a flying start.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on TBS

This balanced Boston squad, led by rookie manager Alex Cora, avoided the American League Division Series elimination that ruined the 2016 and '17 seasons. The Sox fended off a dangerous Yankees team (100 wins during the regular season) in a harrowingly stressful bottom of the ninth inning and held on for a 4-3 victory in Game 4 of the ALDS on Tuesday night.

Sox celebrate with 'New York, New York' in clubhouse

"Like I've been saying all along, we're a complete team, and we count on everybody to win games," said Cora. "The last two games, if you think about it, it was fun to watch."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Cora on Sale, series victory vs. Yanks

The next stop will be the AL Championship Series, which will feature a matchup with the defending World Series champion Astros, the team Cora served as bench coach for last year while taking out Boston in the ALDS. Game 1 is Saturday night at Fenway Park. It is the first time Boston has advanced this far since the World Series championship season of 2013.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Cora on getting ready for the Astros

"Well, it feels absolutely tremendous, because it's a situation where we all know that we won the division, we won 108 games but we haven't been able to advance the last couple of years," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "Taking this next step like this is a great step. We're not finished. We don't want to be finished, but you've got to take this first step, and we haven't done it in a while."

Backed by a strong starting effort by Rick Porcello, a collaborative bullpen effort -- which included Chris Sale -- and timely hitting early, the Sox took a second straight road game from the Yankees to avoid a winner-take-all Game 5.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sale K's Hicks to complete a 1-2-3 8th

Sale pitches scoreless eighth inning

"It's nice to get past the first round, for sure, absolutely," said Porcello, who earned the win, his first in five career postseason starts. "I think we've been a good enough ballclub to do so the last three years, and this year we finally broke through."

There was all kinds of drama in the bottom of the ninth inning when an uncharacteristically shaky Craig Kimbrel came on with a 4-1 lead and gave the Yankees life. The closer walked Aaron Judge and gave up a single to Didi Gregorius, putting runners at first and second with nobody out for the ever-dangerous Giancarlo Stanton. Kimbrel struck out Stanton, but he walked Luke Voit and hit Neil Walker to force in a run. Gary Sanchez hit a towering fly ball to deep left that had many at Yankee Stadium anticipating a walk-off grand slam, but the ball died at the warning track and fell into the glove of Andrew Benintendi.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Red Sox hold on in 9th to reach ALCS

"Well, it got a little exciting there at the end," said Kimbrel. "We've got [a three-run lead] there, and the goal is to come off the field with a win, and we were able to do it. Got a big strikeout of Stanton, and the 3-2 [pitch] to Sanchez was pretty nerve-wracking, but it got us to the second out, and we were able to get through it."

Video: Craig Kimbrel discusses dramatic save in Game 4 win

The series ended on a slow roller to third by Gleyber Torres, on which Eduardo Nunez made a bang-bang play to get the out at first. The Yankees challenged the call, briefly delaying Boston's celebration, but the out was confirmed and the Red Sox survived and advanced.

Video: MLB Tonight on Kimbrel's shaky save in ALDS Game 4

"It was exciting," said Porcello. "That's 2018 baseball; you have to wait for the replay. It didn't take away from our celebration. We felt pretty damn good about it."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Porcello tosses 5 innings of 1-run ball

Porcello came up big early, holding the Bombers to just a run on four hits while throwing 65 pitches over five innings. The veteran sinkerballer also got two big outs in relief in Game 1, when the bullpen appeared to be on the verge of breaking.

Video: MLB Tonight on Porcello?s outing in the ALDS clincher

"With our bullpen and everything that was going on in the game, you don't think [about pitch count]," Porcello said. "You think of how many outs we need to win, and that's it."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Barnes deals a scoreless 6th inning

This time, Cora went right to his highest-leverage setup man, Matt Barnes, who cut through the dangerous 2-3-4 (Judge, Gregorius and Stanton) portion of the lineup for a shutdown sixth. Ryan Brasier stifled New York in the seventh.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Brasier completes a 1-2-3 7th inning

Prior to the game, Cora characterized the chances of Sale pitching in Game 4 as "very slim." Perhaps the manager was just talking about Sale's frame.

Video: MLB Tonight on Chris Sale's relief outing in Game 4

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

The ace stifled the Yankees in a 13-pitch eighth inning, ending it by freezing Aaron Hicks for strike three on a wicked slider. Sale had been lobbying to get some bullpen outs ever since the Red Sox arrived in New York during Sunday's off-day.

Cardi B is a big Sox fan, according to IG video

"He's been talking about it for three days already," said Cora. "In the seventh, we got together, [pitching coach] Dana [LeVangie], [bench coach] Ron [Roenicke] and myself. We already talked to the training staff about if he was OK to come in. He was in the bullpen, but it was kind of like his day. Everybody was on board. I even shouted to the dugout, 'Hey, we're all in. He's coming in.'"

Sale relished the moment.

"It was the first thing I said to AC when I came in the clubhouse today. I told him I wanted the ball at some point," Sale said. "I told him and I walked away, and he started laughing. I don't know if that was a good or a bad thing, but I feel like it worked out."

For the second night in a row, the Red Sox broke out first, this time against CC Sabathia. It started with some good fortune, when Sabathia hit Benintendi on the first pitch of the third inning. Steve Pearce followed with a single up the middle, and Benintendi raced to third. J.D. Martinez got the first run of the game home on a sac fly to deep center. With two outs, Ian Kinsler hit a scorching liner over the head of left fielder Brett Gardner for an RBI double. And Nunez made it 3-0 Red Sox when he laced a first-pitch cutter into left for an RBI single, his first hit of the series.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Kinsler, Nunez spark Red Sox's 3-run 3rd

Sabathia came out after three, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone went to lefty Zach Britton. Christian Vazquez greeted him with what looked like a harmless flyout to right, but it barely carried into the stands for a solo homer, marking the end of a 69 at-bat long ball drought for the catcher that dated back to June 26.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Vazquez slugs a solo home run to right

The Red Sox didn't score after the fourth, and they got away with it -- barely.

Video: MLB Tonight on Yankees' choices in the 3rd inning

After outlasting their rivals in the regular season to win the AL East, the Sox did so again when it counted most in October.

Video: J.D. Martinez joins MLB Tonight to discuss ALDS win

"The team we just beat in this series is a phenomenal team. From start to finish, they were a great team. They really were," said Barnes. "And none of these games are easy. We're going to have many more years of fighting this division with them. Beating a team like that, it's tough. And when you can come out on top, it kind of shows what kind of team we have from start to finish from the ownership down to the coaching staff to the players. We take great pride in that, and we're very excited to move forward."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Barnes on beating Yankees in the ALDS

Moving forward was the sweetest two-word phrase the Red Sox could possibly say after their misfortunes the last two Octobers.

Video: Betts joins MLB Tonight to discuss beating Yankees

"I thought our approach in the playoffs was lacking a little bit. We just didn't have the best approach last year," said Red Sox owner John Henry.

As for what is next?

"It should be quite a series," said Henry. "I think we're ready."

Video: Must C Crucial: Sox close dramatic 9th to clinch ALDS

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Porcello pops up Hicks: The only major stress Porcello faced was in the bottom of the fifth. After a sacrifice fly by Gardner made it 4-1, the Yankees had Torres on first with two outs. Hicks worked Porcello for a tough nine-pitch at-bat, but the Yankees' leadoff man ultimately popped up to Kinsler at second to end the threat.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Porcello wins 9-pitch battle to end 5th

"We had a three-run lead, short porch in right, dangerous left-handed hitter," said Porcello. "To me, that was one of the biggest at-bats of the game, and I was able to bear down and get him out."

SOUND SMART
Scoring first was again vital for the Red Sox in Game 4. In the 2018 postseason, teams that score first are 14-2, with the Indians taking both losses. The Sox were 74-15 (.831 winning percentage) when they scored first in the regular season.

Video: Red Sox defeat the Yankees to advance to the ALCS

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
While Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. get most of the accolades in the outfield when it comes to defense, Benintendi is a pretty solid defender in his own right. To open the bottom of the third, Benintendi raced to the gap in left-center and made a fine catch to take extra bases away from Torres. According to Statcast™, Torres had a hit probability of 57 percent on the drive.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Benintendi makes sprinting catch in 3rd

HE SAID IT
"Extremely [nerve-wracking], I guess is the best way to say it. In a game like this, your stomach is churning the whole game. And it was churning really fast at the end of the game. It was one of those things, you're just hoping to get that next out, and we were in a position where it happened. Craig buckled down, and he got the job done." -- Dombrowski

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Red Sox experienced delayed gratification on the final play of the game. Nunez made a tremendous play on the slow roller by Torres, but his throw to first forced Pearce to lunge for it at first base. Give Pearce credit for hanging on to the ball and keeping his foot on the bag. Torres was just late getting to the base, but the Yankees challenged. Once the call was confirmed, the Red Sox piled on top of each other in celebration of their accomplishment.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Nunez, Pearce get final out after review

UP NEXT
Fenway Park will be rocking on Saturday night when the Astros come in for Game 1 of the ALCS. It should be a tremendous pitching matchup between likely starters Sale and Justin Verlander. It will be a rematch of Game 1 of the ALDS last year, when Verlander and the Astros routed Sale and the Red Sox. FIrst pitch is slated for 8:09 p.m. ET.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Craig Kimbrel, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Eduardo Nunez, Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, Christian Vazquez

Complete guide to Kimbrel's adventurous save

Red Sox closer walks tightrope to secure ALDS-clinching win
MLB.com

For eight innings on Tuesday night in the Bronx, it looked like the Red Sox might cruise to the American League Championship Series on their archrival's home turf.

ALCS Game 1: Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

For eight innings on Tuesday night in the Bronx, it looked like the Red Sox might cruise to the American League Championship Series on their archrival's home turf.

ALCS Game 1: Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET on TBS

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

Boston led the Yankees, 4-0, by the end of the fourth inning in Game 4 of the AL Division Series and still led, 4-1, after the eighth. With seven-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel inheriting a three-run edge, it seemed like New York might go quietly into the night.

Instead, the ninth became a seat-of-your-pants thrill ride. The Yankees scored twice, got the potential tying run into scoring position and put the winning run on base. But ultimately, the Red Sox prevailed, 4-3, and advanced to face the Astros for the pennant.

Here are seven things that stood out about that crazy final frame:

1. Kimbrel was way wild
Kimbrel began the inning by walking Aaron Judge on four pitches, and three batters later, he did the same to Luke Voit. To put that in context, it was the first time in the right-hander's career that he issued multiple four-pitch walks in the same game.

"I was just trying to work a good at-bat against Kimbrel," Judge said. "He's got nasty stuff. Any way I could touch first base, that's what I was trying to do. I was trying to get on and get things started. You never know what can happen."

Tweet from @AndrewSimonMLB: Craig Kimbrel's pitch chart from tonight does not feature many dots inside the box. pic.twitter.com/FPbS00zhPs

2. Voit was at his most patient in the biggest spot
The leadoff walk to Judge was one thing, since the highly dangerous slugger drew 43 four-pitch free passes from 2017-18, ranking in the top 10 in MLB. It was more surprising, following a Didi Gregorius single and a Giancarlo Stanton strikeout, when Voit walked on a 3-0 count to load the bases with only one out.

In 181 prior plate appearances in 2018, Voit had not drawn a single four-pitch walk. He had seen eight plate appearances go to a 3-0 count, and in each case, the next pitch was a strike.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Voit on tough loss, moving forward

3. The Yankees got a rare RBI
After Voit's walk packed the bases, Kimbrel's first pitch to Neil Walker was an errant curveball that dove toward the dirt and hit the veteran on the right foot. In the Yankees' robust postseason history, it was only their fourth run-scoring hit-by-pitch. The first two happened in the World Series in 1927 (Earle Combs) and '28 (George Pipgras). The most recent, before Tuesday, occurred in Game 2 of the 1997 ALDS, when Cleveland's Jose Mesa drilled Mike Stanley with the bases loaded.

The last time a hit batter drove in a run in the ninth inning of any postseason game was in 1986. In that case it was also Boston that created an ill-timed HBP, with Calvin Schiraldi nailing the Angels' Brian Downing to bring in the tying run, as the Halos eventually won Game 4 of the ALCS in 11 innings.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Walker cuts deficit to 2 on HBP in 9th

4. Gary Sanchez came oh-so-close to history
After Walker's painful RBI made it a two-run game, Sanchez worked the count full against Kimbrel, who piped in a 97.6-mph fastball. The Yankees catcher took a mighty cut -- and just got under the ball. His 107.1-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™, gave him plenty of thump, but the 46-degree launch angle was simply too high, and the ball died on the warning track in left field (only 10 homers all season across MLB had a launch angle that high).

Had that fly ball carried a bit farther, Sanchez could have become the first player to hit a walk-off grand slam in the postseason with his team trailing. The only previous postseason walk-off slam, by the Rangers' Nelson Cruz in the 2011 ALCS, broke a tie.

"Definitely nerve-wracking," Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts said. "They've got the bases loaded, they've got a chance to win that game with a home run right there, in Yankee Stadium. I was definitely kind of nervous, but we've got the best closer in the world on the mound, he'll find a way to get it done."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sanchez trims deficit to 1 run in 9th

5. Gleyber Torres gave it everything he had
Sanchez's long out was still a sacrifice fly, making it a 4-3 game and giving rookie Torres a chance with runners at first and second and two outs. Torres topped a slow bouncer toward third, and Boston's Eduardo Nunez made a stellar play to charge it and whip a throw to first baseman Steve Pearce, whose nifty stretch saved the day. A brief replay review confirmed Torres was out by a tiny margin.

It wasn't for lack of effort. Torres' sprint speed, according to Statcast™, was 28.6 feet per second, well above his season average of 27.1 -- also roughly the MLB average. Torres' home-to-first time of 4.19 seconds was his third fastest of the year.

"I hope I'm safe, but it's out," Torres said. "It's tough. It's a really bad moment for right now, but I continue to pray and play for next year."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Nunez records final out, call confirmed

6. Boston's stifling of New York was almost unprecedented
While the ninth-inning rally came up short, the Yankees still pushed across as many runs as they had scored in 17 previous innings at home in the series. It saved them from scoring no more than one run in consecutive home contests for only the second time in 2018 (Aug. 15-16 vs. Tampa Bay).

Still, Sanchez's drive falling short left the Yankees without a home run in back-to-back home games for the second time this year. New York, which set an MLB record with 267 big flies, last went homerless twice in a row in the Bronx from April 7-8 against the Orioles, to end the first homestand of 2018.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Boone on offensive struggles in Game 4

7. Kimbrel successfully walked a tightrope
Including the postseason, this was Kimbrel's 336th career save. It was only the second of those in which he allowed multiple runs (Aug. 28, 2017, at Toronto). It was the first in which he allowed four batters to reach base safely. The last pitcher to allow two runs in a postseason save was Cleveland's Michael Jackson against Boston in Game 3 of the 1998 ALDS. Only two pitchers had surrendered four baserunners in a one-inning postseason save: the Tigers' Todd Jones in Game 2 of the 2006 World Series, and the Marlins' Ugueth Urbina in Game 4 of the 2003 NLDS.

"It got a little exciting there at the end," Kimbrel said. "We got [a three-run lead], and the goal is to come off the field with a win, and we were able to do it."

Video: Must C Crucial: Sox close dramatic 9th to clinch ALDS

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Boston Red Sox, Craig Kimbrel

CC, Gardy among Yanks' potential farewells

Lefty faces free agency; club holds $12.5M option on veteran outfielder
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox were whooping it up in the center of the Yankee Stadium infield and Brett Gardner allowed himself a few extra beats before making the hard left toward the clubhouse from the first-base dugout.

Pinstripes are all that the longest-tenured Yankee has worn in his professional career, and while Gardner made it clear that he wants another crack at a championship, he also recognizes the very real possibility that Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Boston in Game 4 of the American League Division Series could have represented his final game for the franchise.

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NEW YORK -- The Red Sox were whooping it up in the center of the Yankee Stadium infield and Brett Gardner allowed himself a few extra beats before making the hard left toward the clubhouse from the first-base dugout.

Pinstripes are all that the longest-tenured Yankee has worn in his professional career, and while Gardner made it clear that he wants another crack at a championship, he also recognizes the very real possibility that Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Boston in Game 4 of the American League Division Series could have represented his final game for the franchise.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

"A little bit. I'd be lying if I said I didn't," Gardner said. "But I've tried to focus on this year, take things one day at a time and focus on the group of guys that we have here now, focus on this postseason. There'll be a time when we can sit down in the offseason and figure out what my future looks like. Just for right now, it's disappointing that the season ended the way it did."

Gardner's contract includes a $12.5 million team option for next season, with a $2 million buyout. Whether or not to retain the 35-year-old outfielder will likely be one of the first decisions made by Cashman and his staff as they transition into the offseason.

"I'd love to come back here, man," Gardner said. "I've never played anywhere else. We'll see what that looks like. We've already got a lot of young guys and a lot of guys already on the roster. I've been here for a long time."

Cashman also must ponder the futures of a group of potential free agents that includes pitchers CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, David Robertson and Zach Britton and outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

Of that group, the strongest emotional tug will be toward the 38-year-old Sabathia, whose three-inning effort on Tuesday was his 18th postseason start as a Yankee, tied with Roger Clemens and behind only Andy Pettitte (40) and Whitey Ford (22).

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sabathia on possible last game as Yankee

Sabathia has emptied his tank in New York after signing as a celebrated free agent prior to the 2009 season, helping christen the new Yankee Stadium with a championship and then making the transition from power pitcher to a soft-tosser who generates weak contact

"If I had one word to describe him, it's a warrior," Aaron Judge said. "It doesn't matter how he's feeling that day, what's going on. He's going to be out there on that mound every five days for you. He's going to pick you up when you're down, he's going to be in your corner at all times. I've never had a teammate like that."

Though Sabathia toyed with the idea of retirement when he endured an injury scare late last season, he is now firmly committed toward pitching in 2019 -- even if that means he must wear another uniform.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Boone on Sabathia's start in Game 4

Asked how he would like to be remembered as a Yankee, Sabathia replied, "Just as a good teammate. A guy that cared about these guys a lot, pushed and was trying to win a championship every time out. That's all you can ask for, I guess. Hopefully my teammates see me like that."

Robertson, a homegrown Yankee who was reacquired last July, just completed the four-year, $46 million deal that he signed with the White Sox in December 2014. The 33-year-old said that he does not know if he fits into the Yankees' future plans.

"Obviously I'd like to think that, but I don't know what's going to happen in the next few months," Robertson said. "I'll wait and see what happens. That's the best I can tell you on that. I have to look out for what's best for me."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Robertson whiffs Betts in the 6th

The list of potential Yankees free agents also includes pitcher Lance Lynn and infielders Adeiny Hechavarria and Neil Walker.

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

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner, J.A. Happ, Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, CC Sabathia

Yanks' chase for championship ends

Bombers plate two in 9th to make it close, but rally falls just short
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Yankees won the offseason when they added Giancarlo Stanton to an exciting roster that had developed ahead of schedule, completing their previous campaign one victory from reaching the World Series. The result was an intimidating lineup that established a single-season record for home runs, accompanying a bullpen that again ranked among the league's finest.

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees won the offseason when they added Giancarlo Stanton to an exciting roster that had developed ahead of schedule, completing their previous campaign one victory from reaching the World Series. The result was an intimidating lineup that established a single-season record for home runs, accompanying a bullpen that again ranked among the league's finest.

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

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With those pieces in place, the Yankees believed that they had everything required to be the final team standing in October, counting upon their ability to take advantage of what had seemed to be an overwhelming home-field advantage. Instead their chase for the elusive 28th championship in franchise history expired with Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.

"They've got a great team over there," slugger Aaron Judge said. "They won 108 games with one of the most potent offenses in the game. It was a battle back and forth. A lot of those games could have gone either way with a couple of innings. What a year they had. Congrats to them."

Most of a sellout crowd of 49,641 was still packing the house as the Yankees mounted a final threat against closer Craig Kimbrel, who entered to protect a three-run lead. Judge worked a four-pitch walk and Didi Gregorius singled before Stanton drew groans with a strikeout. But Luke Voit worked a free pass and Neil Walker was hit by a pitch, forcing home a run.

Yanks' furious rally comes up just short

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Walker cuts deficit to 2 on HBP in 9th

Gary Sanchez lifted a deep fly ball to left field that died on the warning track, good for a sacrifice fly that brought New York within a run. But with the decibel level spiking, Gleyber Torres made the final out of the Yankees' season, a soft grounder to third base that Eduardo Nunez whipped across his body before his teammates celebrated in the center of the diamond after a replay review of the close play at first base.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sanchez trims deficit to 1 run in 9th

"I know Kimbrel is a really good pitcher," Torres said. "I tried to be focused and help my team. That at-bat, I tried to get a base hit and do my job. I didn't do my job. I feel really sad for that. I'm ready for next year and another opportunity."

Relive the drama of the final 3 outs of Game 4

In what could be his final start in pinstripes, CC Sabathia was peppered for three runs over three innings, placing the bats in an early hole as New Jersey native Rick Porcello and four relievers (including Chris Sale) held down a lineup that slugged 267 homers during the regular season but was outscored by 13 runs (27-14) in the ALDS.

ALDS proves a learning experience for Boone

"One of their goals in this series was to keep us in the ballpark," manager Aaron Boone said. "And then coming here, where we're so good at that, they were able to do it. Credit to them for being able to hold us down and shut us down, but in the end, you don't move on usually when you can't get enough big hits in a series. They just outplayed us a little bit."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Boone on offensive struggles in Game 4

Making the 23rd postseason start (24th appearance) of his career, the 38-year-old Sabathia left the bases loaded in the first inning and pitched around a walk in the second, but he found trouble in the third inning, as Boone was once again slow to get the bullpen working after sticking with Luis Severino too long in Game 3.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sabathia strands bases loaded in the 1st

Andrew Benintendi was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a Steve Pearce single and scored on J.D. Martinez's sacrifice fly. After inducing a groundout by Xander Bogaerts, Sabathia threw a wild pitch and permitted a run-scoring double to Ian Kinsler that sailed past a leaping Brett Gardner, then an RBI single to Nunez.

"It's always disappointing," Sabathia said. "Any time the season ends, it's disappointing, but you've got to keep going. This is a very, very young team that's got a lot of talent, that's going to win the World Series. And I want to be here to be a part of it."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sabathia on possible last game as Yankee

Christian Vazquez extended Boston's lead in the fourth inning with an opposite-field home run off left-hander Zach Britton. The homer landed in the first row in right field, a visually similar blast to the one that Derek Jeter hit against the Orioles in the 1996 AL Championship Series exactly 22 years ago at the old Yankee Stadium -- except, of course, without the fan interference.

New York broke through for its lone run against Porcello -- who recorded two outs as a reliever in Boston's Game 1 victory -- in the fifth. Sanchez roped a ground-rule double to left-center and Torres legged out an infield hit on a slow roller up the third-base line, setting up Gardner's sacrifice fly.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Gardner plates Sanchez with a sac fly

Gardner, like Sabathia, may also have played his final game with the Yankees, along with a group of free agents that includes David Robertson, J.A. Happ, Britton and Andrew McCutchen. Gardner, Robertson and Sabathia are the last remaining members of the Yankees' most recent World Series championship club (2009).

5 offseason questions facing Yankees

"We just didn't play our best baseball, and we got beat," Gardner said. "It hurts right now, but this team, a lot of young guys in this room, the future here is bright. They're going to keep working and they'll be even better because of this next year."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Gardner on Game 4 loss, 2018 season

SOUND SMART
The Yankees lost two consecutive home postseason games after having won seven straight. They lost consecutive home games only five times during the regular season. During the regular season, they were 18-5 at home when losing their previous game at Yankee Stadium.

"I expected to come here and win two in a row," Gardner said. "I thought that our crowd was unbelievable right down to the last pitch tonight. All the support they gave us all year, and the atmosphere they create in big games and the postseason, just to be a part of it and stand out on the field and kind of take it all in, I'm very blessed to be a part of something so special."

HE SAID IT
"It was a tough one. Our ultimate goal was to bring back a championship and that ring. We fell short of that. I came back from the wrist injury and that was my main goal, to get my at-bats and get ready for the postseason. We just came up short." -- Judge

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Judge on Sabathia's final game, 2018

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Boston's celebration was held up as Boone immediately asked for a review on the final out, as Nunez's throw across the diamond came close to pulling Pearce off first base. Torres had a sliver of hope that the play would be overturned and the inning extended, but he knew that he was probably going to be called out.

"I hope I'm safe, but it's out. It's tough," Torres said. "It's a really bad moment for right now, but I'll continue to pray and play for next year."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Nunez records final out, call confirmed

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

New York Yankees

ALDS proves a learning experience for Boone

Slow hook on CC puts bullpen management in spotlight again
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Following a successful rookie campaign that saw his team win 100 games and get to the postseason, Aaron Boone will have a lot to reflect on during his first full offseason as the Yankees' manager.

Games 3 and 4 of the American League Division Series should provide plenty of material all by themselves.

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NEW YORK -- Following a successful rookie campaign that saw his team win 100 games and get to the postseason, Aaron Boone will have a lot to reflect on during his first full offseason as the Yankees' manager.

Games 3 and 4 of the American League Division Series should provide plenty of material all by themselves.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

After being second-guessed for his decision to send Luis Severino back to the mound for the fourth inning in Game 3 on Monday night, Boone was left to defend himself again after the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees in Game 4 on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Boone left a struggling CC Sabathia in the game during the third inning, giving the Red Sox a chance to score three runs in what became a 4-3 Boston win that sent New York home for the offseason.

Taking the mound for the first time in 12 days, Sabathia got through the first two innings without allowing a run, leaving the bases loaded in the first and working around a walk of No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez in the second.

Sabathia hit Andrew Benintendi to start the third, then Steve Pearce singled up the middle, putting runners at the corners. J.D. Martinez lifted a hard-hit sacrifice fly -- it registered an exit velocity of 98.7 mph -- to score the game's first run, prompting Boone to get David Robertson up in the bullpen.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sabathia strands bases loaded in the 1st

Xander Bogaerts grounded out to first, moving Pearce to second on the play. Ian Kinsler laced a double over Brett Gardner's head in left field, scoring Pearce for a 2-0 lead. Kinsler's hit was 106.2 mph off the bat, the highest exit velocity recorded by the veteran infielder since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015.

"I was fine with the way CC was throwing the ball," Boone said. "He was at the two-out point. We were going to have him go through [No. 8 hitter Jackie] Bradley, simple as that. … We just kind of knew we had our guys lined up enough that we could get through the game. I think it was a sound decision to move him, allow him to go through Bradley at that point."

Eduardo Nunez jumped on the first pitch he saw, lining a single to left field that scored Kinsler for a 3-0 Boston lead. Boone said he didn't consider lifting Sabathia to let Robertson face either Kinsler or Nunez.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Kinsler, Nunez spark Red Sox's 3-run 3rd

"Had he gotten Nunez, it might have been the end of his night, but once Nunez got the hit, we weren't going to go to the 'pen there," Boone said. "We were going to let him face Bradley, the lefty, there."

Sabathia retired Bradley on a ground ball to first to escape the inning, but that was the last pitch he threw. As he walked into the dugout, Sabathia was quickly met by Boone, who patted him on the shoulder to tell him his night -- possibly the final time the impending free agent would pitch in pinstripes -- was finished.

"I hadn't been out there in a little while, but I felt good," Sabathia said. "I've got no complaints. They hit some soft contact. Kinsler hit that ball hard, but the rest of that, I'll take that any day."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sabathia on possible last game as Yankee

Sabathia allowed three runs on five hits and two walks, striking out one batter and hitting another. With their season on the line, the Yankees went to their bullpen to open the fourth, but some will surely wonder whether Boone should have had a quicker hook in an elimination game.

Zach Britton, who began warming up when the top of the third ended, took over for the Yankees in the top of the fourth, promptly allowing a solo home run by Vazquez that proved to be the decisive run.

Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia

Red Sox-Yanks G4: Hicks returns, Holt sits

MLB.com

Red Sox manager Alex Cora drew rave reviews for the lineup adjustments he made in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, which wound up as a 16-1 romp over the Yankees. But that didn't stop Cora from making additional adjustments for tonight's Game 4, in which a win will put his team into the AL Championship Series against Houston.

Brock Holt's cycle in Game 3 -- the first in the history of postseason play -- did not earn him a start in Game 4. With lefty CC Sabathia on the hill for the Yankees, the Red Sox are going back to Ian Kinsler at second base.

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Red Sox manager Alex Cora drew rave reviews for the lineup adjustments he made in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, which wound up as a 16-1 romp over the Yankees. But that didn't stop Cora from making additional adjustments for tonight's Game 4, in which a win will put his team into the AL Championship Series against Houston.

Brock Holt's cycle in Game 3 -- the first in the history of postseason play -- did not earn him a start in Game 4. With lefty CC Sabathia on the hill for the Yankees, the Red Sox are going back to Ian Kinsler at second base.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

"It's a tough league," quipped Cora. "It's more about the guy on the mound. [Sabathia has] been great against lefties. The way we see it is, like, we get him early with the righties or we have to grind with the righties through five. Obviously [the Yankees are] going to be all-in with the righties later on in the game. The way [Aaron Boone] been managing, seems like [Zach] Britton and [Aroldis] Chapman are his late guys. Might get a righty in between there, and we'll go to our options. But we had to take our best shots with the righties in the lineup."

The Yankees, trying to stave off elimination, have also made some changes. Boone will sit AL Rookie of the Year Award candidate Miguel Andujar and Andrew McCutchen, replacing them with Neil Walker and Aaron Hicks, the latter of whom is returning from a right hamstring injury.

The starting lineups
Red Sox: Holt isn't the only contributor from Game 3 who will go back to the bench. Third baseman Rafael Devers, who went 2-for-6 with an RBI on Monday, will be replaced by Eduardo Nunez. And somewhat surprisingly, Cora is sticking with Christian Vazquez, who didn't catch a pitch all season from Game 4 starter Rick Porcello. Sandy Leon has just two hits in his past 52 at-bats, and Vazquez had two hits in the Game 3 blowout.

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Steve Pearce, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
6. Ian Kinsler, 2B
7. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
8: Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9. Christian Vazquez, C

• Poll: Should Holt have started in Game 4?

Video: BOS@NYY Gm3: Vazquez scores Devers on infield single

Yankees: Aaron Hicks returns to the lineup, having received manager Aaron Boone's stamp of approval after testing his tight right hamstring on the outfield grass prior to Game 3. Hicks' return adds some balance to a lineup that has become exceedingly right-handed heavy with the recent additions of Andrew McCutchen and Luke Voit. McCutchen gets benched with Hicks' return and Brett Gardner takes over in left field. Voit drops to fifth in the batting order. Neil Walker will play third base, replacing Miguel Andujar in the lineup.

1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Aaron Judge, RF
3. Didi Gregorius, SS
4. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
5. Luke Voit, 1B
6. Neil Walker, 3B
7. Gary Sanchez, C
8. Gleyber Torres, 2B
9. Brett Gardner, LF

Yankees pushed to brink after Game 3 blowout

Who are the starting pitchers?
Red Sox: What a time this would be for Porcello to notch his first career postseason victory. Porcello is 0-2 with a 5.85 ERA in four postseason starts. He got two big outs for the Red Sox in relief in the 5-4 win in Game 1. Porcello was tremendous against the Yankees this season, going 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Porcello on facing the Yankees in Game 4

Yankees: You know that the moment will not be too big for left-hander Sabathia (9-7, 3.65 ERA), who is putting the finishing touches on a lengthy career that will invite conversations about the Hall of Fame. That's not foremost in the Yankees' minds as they send him to the hill, however; he's tasked with getting through the Red Sox order at least once and helping Boone get the ball to the vaunted bullpen.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sabathia discusses strong Red Sox lineup

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Red Sox: Thanks to Nathan Eovaldi coming up huge with seven sparkling innings in Game 3, the Red Sox didn't use any of their leverage relievers. Cora will save the most important bullpen outs of the game for Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel. The two hard-throwing righties didn't pitch in Game 2 either, and they could each be asked to go more than one inning. Lefty David Price is also available, and it will be interesting to see how Cora might deploy him, given his considerable struggles at Yankee Stadium over the past three seasons.

Ace Chris Sale, who won Game 1 and would start Game 5 if necessary on Thursday, has been itching to face a batter or two in Game 4. However, Cora sounds as if he's leaning against such a move.

"Chris, he's been talking a lot the last two days about possible scenarios tonight," said Cora. "I don't know. He's ready to go Game 5. But he feels he can pitch today. We'll see. We talk about it, and I talked to [pitching coach] Dana [LeVangie]. We'll sit down after batting practice. It would have to be something that is too perfect. We'll talk. The chances are very slim."

Video: NYY@BOS Gm1: Sale K's 8 over 5 1/3 frames vs. Yankees

Why is Cora against pitching Sale, even if only for a batter or two?

"I think just the fact that we earned a mulligan and he's our best guy," Cora said. "You've just got to be careful. It's baseball. Any given night, somebody gets hit and all of a sudden you burn him, and then what?"

Yankees: It is all hands on deck for the Yankees, as there is no tomorrow if they don't win this one. In an ideal world, Boone would get at least three innings out of Sabathia, then move the ball from Dellin Betances to David Robertson, then finish up with Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman. Betances could provide multiple innings, as could Robertson, while Chapman would gamely take on more than three outs. Boone said that he sees J.A. Happ as an option in the event of extra innings.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm3: Yankees on bouncing back from big loss

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Red Sox:
The only relievers who pitched in Game 3 were Heath Hembree and Eduardo Rodriguez, who threw 15 pitches each. Cora will have the entire bullpen at his disposal for Game 4.

Yankees: Jonathan Holder (38 pitches) and Stephen Tarpley (31 pitches) were taxed heavily in Game 3. Lance Lynn (16 pitches) and Chad Green (29 pitches) also worked in relief of Severino, though those two hurlers both were said to be available for work in Game 2 after they pitched behind J.A. Happ in Game 1.

Any injuries of note?
Red Sox: First baseman Mitch Moreland is still iffy with a right hamstring injury he sustained in Game 2. Moreland wouldn't have started anyway against Sabathia. He could be available to pinch-hit.

Yankees: Now that Hicks is back, the Yankees do not have any other significant concerns at the moment. Gregorius is continuing to receive treatment on his right wrist, but he is playable.

Who is hot and who is not?
Red Sox: Holt is smoldering hot. In his past 47 at-bats dating back to Sept. 11, the left-handed hitter has a slash line of .447/.500/.894 with five homers and 17 RBIs. In 13 at-bats as a pinch-hitter this season, Holt hit .385 with two doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and a 1.621 OPS. Nunez was 0-for-7 in the first two games. Kinsler is hitting .156 with a .462 OPS in his past 45 at-bats.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm3: Cora on Holt hitting for the cycle

Yankees: Maybe the only bright spot offensively for the Yankees in Game 3 was that Stanton hit the ball hard twice, knocking a pair of singles. He's now 4-for-14 in the ALDS, and is hitting .357/.402/.631 in 21 games vs. the Red Sox in 2018. Judge is 10-for-28 with four homers and 12 RBIs in eight career home playoff games. Torres has hit safely in all three ALDS games.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm3: Stanton collects 2nd hit with single

Anything else fans might want to know?
The pressure continues to shift from one team to the other in this series. Now, the Yankees find themselves on the brink of elimination. 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.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

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

Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

Andujar out of lineup for G4; Walker starts at 3B

Boone opts for Gardner in LF over McCutchen opposite righty Porcello
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Miguel Andujar's bat has pushed him into the American League Rookie of the Year Award conversation, but as his Yankees face elimination in Tuesday's Game 4 of the AL Division Series, the infielder will be watching at least the first few innings from the bench.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone shuffled his lineup as the Bombers try to push the series back to Boston, opting to sit Andujar in favor of having switch-hitter Neil Walker man third base behind starter CC Sabathia. Andrew McCutchen is also on the bench as Aaron Hicks returns to the lineup in center field, with Brett Gardner sliding to left field.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Miguel Andujar's bat has pushed him into the American League Rookie of the Year Award conversation, but as his Yankees face elimination in Tuesday's Game 4 of the AL Division Series, the infielder will be watching at least the first few innings from the bench.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone shuffled his lineup as the Bombers try to push the series back to Boston, opting to sit Andujar in favor of having switch-hitter Neil Walker man third base behind starter CC Sabathia. Andrew McCutchen is also on the bench as Aaron Hicks returns to the lineup in center field, with Brett Gardner sliding to left field.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

"I just wanted to get more lefty balance in the lineup tonight against [Red Sox starter Rick] Porcello," Boone said. "I feel like it makes sense to have that. Walk has played a number of games over at third with CC on the mound, too. I just feel like it gives us a little more balance in a matchup that makes sense."

Lefties compiled a .727 OPS against Porcello during the regular season, compared with a .672 OPS from the right side. Andujar, a right-handed hitter, has not shown a platoon split thus far in his MLB career, posting a .869 OPS against righties this year compared to .822 against lefties, but he is 1-for-9 in the ALDS thus far.

Red Sox-Yankees Game 4: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

Though the Yankees have remained bullish on Andujar's improving defense, Sabathia generates a substantial number of ground balls to the left side of the infield. As a result, Walker has started at third base in four consecutive Sabathia starts, and five of six.

"We like getting Walk in there, and on the day CC pitches, it makes a little sense to have him out there," Boone said.

Gardner is starting his third consecutive game, having filled in twice while Hicks was recovering from a tight right hamstring. Boone said that he believed the call was close between Gardner and McCutchen in left field, ultimately opting for the left-handed bat.

"I just felt like it was a pretty good matchup, and again, having another lefty in there," Boone said. "Cutch will come into play obviously later. I felt like it was a close matchup offensively against Porcello, and obviously what Gardy brings defensively."

Video: NYY@BOS Gm2: Gardner makes running catch to end 1st

About last night
Boone said that he had "a pretty [crappy] drive home" after the Yankees' 16-1 loss on Monday night in Game 3 of the ALDS, spending some of the time second-guessing himself for allowing a hittable Luis Severino to start the fourth inning. Severino did not record an out, leaving a bases-loaded, none-out situation for Lance Lynn.

"Certainly in hindsight, when [Severino] doesn't get an out, yeah, you'd like to have that back," Boone said. "But I really felt like we were going to make the move once we got to the top of the order. I felt like he had a chance to navigate the bottom of the order there. So that's what my decision to stick with him was [based on], and obviously that didn't work out. Being able to look back in hindsight, we'd go a different way there in that spot."

Video: Harold talks Severino and the Red Sox's baserunning

Boone reiterated that there were no issues with Severino's warmup. TBS' cameras spotted Severino reaching the bullpen mound at 7:32 p.m. ET, eight minutes before the scheduled first pitch, but all involved parties said that was not out of the ordinary for Severino. Boone said that he spoke with Severino and pitching coach Larry Rothschild to confirm there was no confusion.

"Now that I've kind of really dug in and spoken with both Sevy at length and Larry at length about it, I had no issue at how he warmed up," Boone said. "It was a little atypical in that it's a playoff game where you're having lineup introductions, so it's a little bit different.

"But as far as his routine and what he does to get ready, it was very much on par with what he always does, as far the pitches that he has in the bullpen, how he gets ready leading up to the bullpen, facing a couple of mock hitters with signs and everything. He did all that and then sat down before he went out, like he normally does."

Video: Severino, Boone on Severino's pregame warmups

Rounding third, heading home
Boone said that he has not seen nor heard any of the criticism of his Game 3 performance, but he knows it is out there, judging by the number of texts he has received telling him to "hang in there." To be safe, Boone said he tuned his satellite radio to The Bridge and '80s on 8 during his commutes to and from the Bronx.

"It was a soothing sound," Boone said.

This date in Yankees history
Oct. 9, 1996: Derek Jeter hits a controversial home run in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series at Yankee Stadium, as 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier reaches over the right-field wall and deflects the ball. Jeter's homer ties the game at 4-4 in the eighth inning before Bernie Williams walks off the Orioles with a homer in the 11th.

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

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Porcello eager for chance to close out Yanks

Former Cy Young winner enjoyed regular-season success vs. NY
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Closing out the Yankees on their home turf won't be easy. But the Red Sox will get their shot in Game 4 of the American League Division Series tonight, and they're putting the ball in the hands of the second AL Cy Young Award winner in their rotation.

Rick Porcello, pushed back a game after making a relief appearance in Game 1, will start with a chance to send the Red Sox to the AL Championship Series. Boston holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series after a dominant 16-1 win on Monday night in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium.

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NEW YORK -- Closing out the Yankees on their home turf won't be easy. But the Red Sox will get their shot in Game 4 of the American League Division Series tonight, and they're putting the ball in the hands of the second AL Cy Young Award winner in their rotation.

Rick Porcello, pushed back a game after making a relief appearance in Game 1, will start with a chance to send the Red Sox to the AL Championship Series. Boston holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series after a dominant 16-1 win on Monday night in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium.

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"This is what it's all about," Porcello said on Monday afternoon. "You get an opportunity to have the ball in Yankee Stadium, Game 4, this is the culmination of the entire season -- it leads up to your opportunities in the postseason."

:: ALDS schedule and results ::

The Red Sox are the first team to beat the Yanks in a playoff game in the Bronx in the last eight tries. They'll look to Porcello to do it for a second straight night. It wouldn't be the first time the right-hander dominated the Yankees this season.

On Aug. 3, Porcello one-hit New York in a complete-game masterpiece. He also threw seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball to beat the Yankees on April 12.

Now, both of those wins came at Fenway Park. Pitching at Yankee Stadium can be a different animal, especially in a playoff atmosphere. In Porcello's only start in New York this season, he was knocked around for five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

And Porcello hasn't been at his sharpest in the playoffs -- he has a 5.33 ERA in 12 career postseason games, and a 5.85 ERA in the four that were starts. Porcello's only quality start in the playoffs came with the Tigers in 2011.

But unlike David Price, his Cy Young Award rotation-mate who also has a rocky postseason history -- and who was roughed up in by the Yankees in Game 2 -- Porcello at least has recent success against the Yanks to lean on.

"Rick's a bulldog," Andrew Benintendi said. "He doesn't care what situation he's thrown in. You saw the other night, he came in in the eighth inning. He just wants to win. We're confident in him. He goes out there, and he attacks. He's going to take it right to them."

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Porcello on how to pitch against Yankees

Porcello will also be pitching with a fully rested bullpen behind him, as Nathan Eovaldi's seven-inning effort and the lopsided result in Game 3 allowed Boston's key relievers to get a night off.

And even if Porcello falters in tonight's matchup against CC Sabathia, the Red Sox would have Chris Sale -- also fully rested, and already having beaten the Yankees