Craig Kimbrel might have gotten lucky.
After back-to-back seasons with disappointing first-round exits, the Boston Red Sox exorcised a bit of a playoff demon Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. The 38-year-old knows Major League Baseball won't be happy with him comments, is likely to fine him, but his future in the game is uncertain, and at this point, why not just be honest?
Lance Lynn, usually a starter, came in and started with a four-pitch walk to Mookie Betts that forced in a run. Brandon Workman allowed one. But the move that really drew the ire of TBS color commentator Ron Darling, and probably some on the Yankees' payroll, came later in the game.
Houston advanced by completing a sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Monday.
Then, a 2018 season of soaring expectations - now over in bitter disappointment. A huge strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton - whom the Red Sox did not allow to homer in the series - in the inning helped Kimbrel escape trouble, and the game ended on a great play from Eduardo Nunez at third base, plus a stretch from Steve Pearce at first base.
Boston also clinched its third consecutive division crown on enemy ground September 20. Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn't deliver a longwinded postgame message after his club downed the Yankees, but he sure sounds ready for the tilt with the reigning World Series champions.
On deck, a long winter of wondering how they've fallen behind in a rivalry they dominated for almost a century. "I know it's out there because of the texts I receive, the 'hang in theres, '" Boone said.
Drew Brees: It played out better than imagined
After Brees connected on the record throw, he was mobbed by teammates and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the moment. He had 250 yards and two touchdowns by halftime and finished 26 of 29 for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
The Yankees must win both Game 4 and Game 5 in order to advance to meet the Astros in the ALCS.
Every starter had at least one hit for the Red Sox, who piled up 18 in all.
Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks remained out of the lineup after missing Game 2 with tightness in his right hamstring, which forced him from the series opener Friday. NY is 8-3 in its last 11 home games versus the Red Sox.
Severino started New York's postseason with four shutout innings in the AL wild-card win over Oakland last Wednesday. By the time the fourth inning was over, three of his calls were overturned and a fourth call was upheld on review.
'It's a good song.
The goal of any replay system is to get calls right, when officials or umpires have to make calls in real-time, at full speed and may have just simply missed something.
Boston's 16-1 blowout Monday marked the biggest defeat for a home team in postseason history, and shortstop Didi Gregorius called it 'an embarrassing day'. He waited for his chance as the fourth batter of the final inning.