1. The Red Sox end the Yankees’ season
You likely watched the game, seeing the heroic game-saving efforts of the Green Monster, Gerrit Cole pulled in the third inning, the 2016 Cubs smacking deep home runs to right field.
And so, the Red Sox advance to play the Rays in the ALDS on Thursday, and one of the most frustrating Yankee seasons in decades come to an end.
Red Sox fans were happy:
Mets fans were happy:
And the Yankees enter a long winter of regrouping, rethinking, retooling, and a 2022 season that might just turn out even worse — those Red Sox and Rays and Blue Jays teams aren’t going anywhere soon. Unless, of course, they go out and sign the right guy:
2. The villain of the night was Yankees’ third-base coach Phil Nevin
The most baffling, infamous send home in recent postseason memory, as Aaron Judge was out at the plate by miles, and the entire baseball world scratched their heads with a great big why?
The Yankees were rallying, just barely missing a two-run homer to tie the game, and would’ve been sitting pretty with runners on second and third, just one out — and then, just like that, it’s two outs and only Giancarlo Stanton on second base (who did not end up scoring).
An awful, harebrained decision from Phil Nevin, that flipped all the momentum right back over to the Red Sox:
3. The highlights from the game, in case you missed them
First inning, the had-been-slumping Xander Bogaerts went deep to dead center field, for a quick 2–0 on Gerrit Cole:
Kyle Schwarber went deep off Gerrit Cole again, for the second time in a Wild Card Game (see the ball launched into the Allegheny River, in 2015).
Anthony Rizzo went deep, too:
Giancarlo Stanton hit the Green Monster twice (the second of which would’ve been a clear home run), and the first time had John Sterling completely, embarrassingly fooled:
And lastly, Alex Verdugo gave the Red Sox enough insurance runs to win easy in the end, taking a five-run lead and never in doubt from there:
4. Tonight is the N.L. Wild Card Game at Dodger Stadium
The Dodgers, and their 106 wins. The Cardinals, and their 90 wins. Albert Pujols against his former team. Scherzer vs. Wainwright on the mound. The defending champions against the team that won 17 straight in September. The winner advances to play the Giants and the loser goes home.
Tonight at 8:10 ET on TBS:
Max Scherzer has arrived at the ballpark, in flip-flops, accompanied by an awesome hype video from yesterday:
5. Here are the lineups for the Wild Card Game
This might just be the first time back-to-back Turners have batted in a postseason lineup. Also notable, Max Muncy (36 HRs) was hurt in Sunday’s game and will be out for a while, replaced by Matt Beaty at first base.
And the Cardinals:
6. Pregame interviews ahead of tonight’s game
Scherzer, Dave Roberts, Mookie Betts, speaking at Dodger Stadium:
7. Trevor Bauer gives his first update in many weeks, with a short vlog
“Hey guys, I know you haven’t heard from me in a while.”
Posted aday before his team starts their playoff run with a nerve-wracking one-game playoff — maybe not the best timing there, in the name of not causing distractions.
8. Theo Epstein will not be joining the Mets
It never sounded like quite the right fit, but the long-rumored hire now sounds officially out.
9. Brett Gardner, after possibly his last game with the Yankees, kept his uniform on long after the game
He’s been with the team since 2008, the only remaining player from the ’09 championship season, and the loss last night had him savoring things.
10. The 2021 Cy Young campaign of Gerrit Cole crashed and burned
The Wild Card game ended as the Yankees season ended, with a final three weeks of flaky, hardly sustainable play, and their ace on the mound beginning to crumble. An 8.24 ERA over the last four starts of his 2021 season, and a long way from the Cy Young talk of the entire summer.
11. Bucky Dent was at Fenway Park last night
Evidently, he doesn’t work well as a good luck charm.
12. And lastly, we may have seen the final appearance of Bronxie The Turtle, good luck charm for the Yankees
Walking into Fenway Park with his “dad”, Nestor Cortes, in his own little labelled turtle tank — as one of the all-time great outfit accessories to strut into a game with:
And, like Bucky Dent, the good luck charm did not quite work.