Brief but intense Yankees-Red Sox postseason rivalry has produced many heroes

BOSTON MA.- OCTOBER 5 Brandon Workman #44 of the Boston Red Sox yells out after striking out Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees with bases loaded in the sixth inning of Game 1 of Major League Baseball's American League Division Series at F

BOSTON MA.- OCTOBER 5 Brandon Workman #44 of the Boston Red Sox yells out after striking out Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees with bases loaded in the sixth inning of Game 1 of Major League Baseball's American League Division Series at F

He clobbered a cutter from Boston left-hander David Price and parked it 445 feet away in the seats atop the Green Monster. A video of the moment circulated on the web, and Dustin Pedroia mentioned it to Sox manager Alex Cora.

Hitting just.213 with seven total runs over two games, the Red Sox have made some changes to their starting lineup for Game 3 of the American League Division Series tonight at Yankee Stadium. I know my struggle, and I know what it was that wasn't working that time. The Yankees have certainly victimized other pitchers this season, but an inordinate number of home runs, nine in the regular season and two more Saturday night, have come against Price, in just 17 ⅓ innings combined.

Price's ERA as a playoff starter has jumped to 6.03 with 13 home runs allowed, including the devastating pair on Saturday.

Had the Yankees been able to capitalize with runners in scoring position during the series opener, they would likely be returning to Yankee Stadium with a commanding 2-0 lead in this best-of-five series.

You could see the "underdog" Yankees getting under the skin of the best team in baseball. Not only did the left-handed pitcher enter the postseason in hopes of defeating the demons of playoffs past, he had to find a way to keep those pinstripes in check.

Nunez is just 5-for-18 off Severino, Kinsler is 3-for-18 and Leon is 2-for-16, but those who have replaced them have even worse numbers.

Why he's here: Ortiz never gets the chance to play superstar without the guy who had exactly zero at-bats for the Red Sox in the series. For one thing, postseason series vary in length by nature, and it could be a series-sweeping team like this year's Brewers just had so much darn momentum over the Rockies that they would've kept on winning ad infinitum.

Can he get it done? "We like to hear that song sometimes when we win a big game". "But I think it's just a good-natured whatever". When an Major League Baseball team trailing in a postseason series pulls out a big win, we say - or we think, or we write, or we at least consider - that the series' momentum has swung. "We trust him. He's bounced back before".

That may involve working out of the bullpen.

Game 3 will feature a pitching matchup between two very live arms. He did well in that spot in last year's playoffs and it could be what he needs to get his postseason confidence flowing. Price then walked back-to-back batters with two outs and gave up an Andrew McCutchen's RBI single on what could be his last pitch in a Red Sox uniform. That makes it a best-of-three as the AL East rivals shift to NY for games on Monday and Tuesday and the possibility now opened that the best regular-season team in the major leagues in 2018 won't have another home date.

Meanwhile, the vaunted Red Sox offence that carried them to that magical 108-win season went missing before a sellout Fenway crowd of 39,151.

"I think the connection that our fan base and our fans now have with our players is a special one, and now you put it in the postseason, and you bring the Red Sox, who, obviously, that rivalry that's there and as great of a team as they were this season, I think the atmosphere (in Game 3) is going to be special, electric, whatever you want to put on it".

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