Red Sox score vs. Rays: Christian Vázquez home run in inning 13 gives Boston ALDS game three


The Boston Red Sox are one win away from the ALCS and the Tampa Bay Rays’ 100 wins are one loss from coming home for the offseason. The Red Sox beat the Rays in an ALDS Game 3 marathon at Fenway Park on Sunday (BOS 6, VG 4 in 13 innings) thanks to Christian Vázquez’s home run in the 13th inning. Boston leads the series 2-1.

Much like Game 2, the Rays took the lead in the first inning in Game 3, although it didn’t last. The Red Sox recovered four runs after falling 2-0, and then after the relieving box lost the lead in the eighth, both relief teams traded zeros for four more innings. Vázquez won the longest game of the 2021 playoffs to date.

The home run is the last playoff home run in Red Sox history (13th inning). Vázquez and Hall of Fame member Carlton Fisk are the only receivers to hit a playoff homer in franchise history. Here are eight takeaways from Game 3.

1. There has been a controversy

The MLB playoffs didn’t start until an unknown and obscure stepped in. Kevin Kiermaier laced a line in the center-right gap with Yandy Díaz on first base early in the 13th inning. , and the ball ricocheted off the wall and into Hunter Renfroe, then came back over the wall for an automatic double. Rather than giving the green light from first, Díaz was sent back to third and Kiermaier to second. Here is the game:

MLB rule 5.05 (a) (8) states that when “any good bouncing ball is deflected by the fielder in the stands, or above or below a fence in fair or foul territory , (the) batter and all runners are entitled to two bases. . “The call from the field was correct as Renfroe didn’t intentionally drop the ball over the wall. It’s just a stupid rule. Common sense says that Díaz would have scored in the first game since he was running in contact with two withdrawals.

Mike Zunino followed Kiermaier’s brace with a strikeout, ending the round. Vázquez then left him in the lower half. The game cost the Rays a point as well as a third-place runner with two strikeouts, and who knows how the game plays out from there? Maybe the pitcher throws differently and gives up another hit and another run. It’s the butterfly effect of baseball.

2. Hernandez stayed warm and made history

Call it the Enrique Hernandez series. The Red Sox, sometimes a center, sometimes a second baseman, managed 5 for 6 with a homerun and three doubles in Game 2, becoming the fifth player in history with four more hits in a game. eliminatory.

Hernandez’s heroism continued in Game 3. He overtook the Green Monster on his first at-bat, dunked a single center scorer on his second at-bat, then slammed a solo home run on the Green Monster on his third at-bat. That’s eight hits covering games 2 and 3.

The eight hits is a record for two straight games in a single playoff series and Hernandez has also had one hit in seven consecutive batting appearances at one point. It’s a Red Sox playoff record and one short of the all-time record shared by Miguel Cairo, Billy Hatcher and Reggie Jackson.

Plus, Hernandez has already tied a Red Sox record with five more hits in a single playoff series, and he has at least one game left to play. Kevin Youkilis (ALCS 2007 and ALCS 2008), John Valentin (ALDS 2008) and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski (World Series 1967) also accomplished the feat.

Thanks in large part to Hernandez, the Red Sox had 35 hits in Games 2 and 3, a new franchise record for hits in back-to-back playoff games. Tampa has never allowed more than 30 hits in consecutive games during the regular season.

3. Eovaldi was excellent again


Game 3 got off to a bad start for playoff certified ace Nathan Eovaldi. Wander Franco scored a single with a center out in the first inning, then Austin Meadows followed with a two-run homerun in the reliever box, giving Tampa a 2-0 lead early on. Meadows was 7 for 21 with two doubles, a triple and a homerun against Eovaldi before Game 3.

The Rays were unable to build on this early lead. Eovaldi calmed down and struck out 14 of the last 17 batters he faced after the homer, including seven strikeouts. He leaned heavily on his splitter after throwing the pitch just eight times in the Wild Card Game. Here are Eovaldi’s five heaviest starts in 2021. You’ll notice a trend.

1. October 10 against Rays (ALDS 3 match): 23 dividers
2. July 31 vs Rays: 23
3. August 11 vs Rays: 19
4. June 14 vs Blue Jays: 18
5. July 24 against the Yankees: 17

The Tampa hitters missed 10 of their 15 swings against Eovaldi’s Divider in Game 3, an absurd rate. Relying on the splitter was a clear plan of attack against the Rays and it lasted all season, but Tampa couldn’t adapt.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora pulled Eovaldi out after five innings and just 85 shots rather than let him face Meadows a third time with a one-point lead, which was a smart move given their history. Overall, Eovaldi now has a 1.92 ERA in 32 career 2/3 playoff innings.

4. Franco’s incredible playoffs continued

Wander Franco has played like a star since joining the big leagues, and he’s been at his best in the playoffs. The 20-year-old prodigy did a 2 for 6 with a homerun Sunday, and a 6 for 15 with two doubles and a homerun in the ALDS overall.

At 20 years and 223 days, Franco is the fifth youngest player to appear in a playoff game and the second youngest to do so in the American League. Here are the five youngest players to go deeper into a playoff game:

1. Andruw Jones, Braves: 19 Years, 177 Days (1996 NLCS Game 7)
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 19 years, 362 days (2012 NLDS Game 5)
3. Manny Machado, Orioles: 20 years, 96 days (2012 ALDS Game 3)
4. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins: 20 years, 172 days (2003 NLDS Game 1)
5. Wander Franco, Rays: 20 years 223 days (2021 ALDS Game 3)

Franco has had multiple hits in all three ALDS games so far. He is the youngest player to start his playoff career with three consecutive multi-shot games. Only Cabrera (5), Jones (4) and Juan Soto (4) have more career multi-hit playoffs before their 21st birthday than Franco.

5. Pivetta was standing


Both bullpen were really tall, although Nick Pivetta was the taller. After pitching 4 2/3 innings and 73 shots in Game 1 on Thursday, Pivetta shot four more innings and 67 shots in Game 2 on Sunday. That’s 8 2/3 innings and 140 throws in about 72 hours. Game 3 is a well-deserved victory for Pivetta.

The Rays tied on a Franco circuit and a brace for Randy Arozarena in the eighth inning. Even with that, six Boston relievers combined to allow just those two runs in eight innings. They also put out 12. The Red Sox pitchers put out 20 batters in total, the fourth most in a postseason game in baseball history:

1. Cleveland, 1996 ALDS Game 4 vs. Orioles: 23 in 12 rounds
2. Reds, NL Wild Card 2020 Series Game 1 vs. Braves: 21 in 12 1/3 sleeves
3. Orioles, 1997 ALCS Game 3 vs. Cleveland: 21 in 11 1/3 sleeves
4. Giants, NLDS 2015 Game 2 vs Nationals: 20 in 18 rounds
5. Red Sox, 2021 ALDS Game 3 vs. Rays: 20 in 13 rounds

The 20 strikeouts are easily a new Red Sox playoff record, surpassing their 16 strikeouts in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS.

The Tampa Reliever Box also deserves a mention here. The Eight Rays relievers limited the Red Sox to one point in 10 1/3 of an inning before Vázquez’s home run. The two teams combined to throw 389 shots.

6. Rasmussen gave ALDS another short start


The ALDS was defined by short starts. Eduardo Rodriguez played 1 2/3 innings in Game 1, Chris Sale played one inning and Shane Baz has 2 1/3 innings in Game 2, and Drew Rasmussen played two innings plus three batters in Game 3. The Red Sox scored the right-hander for three runs on six hits in his two innings.

In Rasmussen’s case, the Rays weren’t expecting much length. He entered the rotation in August and hasn’t pitched more than five innings or 74 shots in any of his eight starts. Rasmussen has faced the Red Sox three times in those eight starts, and familiarity seemed to help him in Game 3. They’ve been on him all afternoon.

Tampa plans a reliever game in Game 4 – Luis Patiño was supposed to be the “big” inning guy, though he threw 15 shots in 1 1/3 inning before leaving Vázquez home in the game 3 – so Sunday’s workload is a problem. The Rays have used pretty much all of their staff. No one will be well rested for Game 4.

7. Schwarber celebrated a routine play

Game 3 was Kyle Schwarber’s 11th career start at first base and his inexperience manifested itself in the third inning, when he lined up a Brandon Lowe’s ground ball and returned the ball high over his head. Eovaldi on the first goal. Routine game and manual error.

Fortunately for Schwarber and the Red Sox, the mistake did not lead to a race. And an inning later, Schwarber lined up a similar ground ball from Ji-Man Choi and managed to return the ball to Eovaldi covering first base. He raised his hands in celebration and had a great time with it. Check it out:

Self-mockery always goes well, especially when you took a 3-2 lead on the scoreboard in the previous set in a playoff game.

8. The Red Sox are in charge

Boston is one win away from its second ALCS in the past four years. The last victory is always the most difficult, and neither team has announced its holder of the fourth game. The Rays are expected to go with a paddock game anyway. The Red Sox will most likely start Rodriguez on a short rest after his brief outing in Game 1.

Historically, the team that wins Game 3 when a best-of-five series is tied 1-1 has won the series 72 percent of the time. The odds are in Boston’s favor, although the Rays won’t go down without a fight.

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