NEW YORK -- With his team trying to stage a rally in the top of the ninth at Yankee Stadium down by two runs, Red Sox manager Alex Cora almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing and hearing.
“Let’s go, Red Sox. Let’s go, Red Sox,” is what Cora heard from small portions of fans. These weren’t Boston fans who made the trip to New York for the weekend.
No, these were Yankees fans hoping Boston could score two in the top of the ninth so that Aaron Judge could get one more at-bat in his pursuit of homer No. 61 to tie Roger Maris for the American League’s single-season record.
Still, Cora got a chuckle out of the unique reaction from Yankees fans.
“There was a section towards right field that started chanting, ‘Let's Go Red Sox.’ It was a bunch of Yankee fans. They were wearing their jerseys,” Cora said. “There was a guy right next to me saying, ‘Let's go, Alex! Let’s score two!’ I told him, ‘If you get this whole place going, chanting, “Let’s go, Red Sox,” then you’re the man.’ He didn’t, but it was interesting. The guy next to me was like, ‘Let’s go! First time I’ve ever said it, but, let’s go Red Sox!’”
For Cora, it could have been reminiscent of another famous moment in Yankees lore.
“I actually told [coach Andy Fox], I said, ‘Do you remember [Derek] Jeter’s game, when they blew the save in the top of the ninth [against the Orioles] and then Jeter gets his [walk-off] hit in his last game here at Yankee Stadium,’” Cora said. “I had that feeling in that top of the ninth. I wanted us to score three, but it just didn't happen.”
Though the Red Sox would rather be in a pennant race, they’ve enjoyed the challenge of keeping Judge in the ballpark, not to mention the environment of all of his plate appearances.
“It's a cool scene,” Cora said. “These fans are great. They do an amazing job rooting for their team and obviously rooting for him. We’ve got one more night here and hopefully we can keep doing what we're doing and move forward.”