"I think (his players) can't wait", Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the home run hero of New York's 2003 elimination of the Red Sox.
AROUND THE BASES Josh Donaldson went 0-for-4 against the Astros in Friday's opener of the other ALDS series and prior to the game the Blue Jays finally announced the player the named later in the August 31 deal. Last week, during the Yankees' regular-season series finale at Boston, Happ gave up a grand slam in an otherwise solid six-inning, seven-strikeout performance.
Instead, the wild-card Yankees will have a chance to advance to the AL Championship Series with victories at home, where they are 7-0 over the past two postseasons, in Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday nights. He would be on the usual four days' rest. They will start right-hander Masahiro Tanaka in Game 2 opposite Red Sox lefty David Price. "I'm not going to hide from it".
For the Red Sox, the biggest X-factor in Game 2 could be their bullpen. Price wasn't quite as sharp as in year's past, although overall he had a strong season, recording a 3.58 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP accompanied with a 16-7 record in 176 innings of work. Hicks sounded hopeful that he'll be back in the lineup for Game 2. The team with the starter with the better Game Score won nine of the first 10 games this month, and in the only one that it did not the Rockies' Tyler Anderson (one run, six innings) had a slightly better Game Score than the Brewers' Jhoulys Chacin in Game 2 of their Division Series, but Chacin (five innings, no runs) was still terrific. "If you make pitches against him, his outs are a lot of times strikeouts". Judge had three hits and Voit had two for NY, which went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Homers: Through the first 10 October games, the team that hit the most homers was 6-1, including 5-0 in the postseason (there were three games in which the same number of homers was hit by both teams).
The Yankees set an all-time record with 267 home runs this year, and after two straight postseasons that spiraled far too quickly, the Sox needed stability from a stater.
The Red Sox made it 5-0 in the third when Mookie Betts doubled off the left-field wall and Andrew Benintendi chased Happ with a bunt single that moved the runner to third. But these Yankees and Red Sox are different. If New York can steal one of the first two games at Fenway Park, the series won't be returning to Boston.
"That's a guy I trust", Cora said. Then there's the Red Sox bullpen, which pitched to an AL-worst 4.84 ERA in September. They were giving up leads. NY powered its way to a 6-2 victory on a spectacular fall night, one that left a season-high crowd of 39,151 fans skulking their way to the exits. The Yankees will go with Luis Severino and CC Sabathia when the series goes to NY.