I warned the Yankees about Brock Holt before the game yesterday. The Yankees usually hold their own against the superstars. But the utility guys kick them around all the time. The guy has a 91 career OPS+ and he gets ten total bases in one game against the Yankees. Ah well, the fact is that once again, Luis Severino could not come up big in a playoff game. So he got David Priced by the Red Sox and from there, all hell broke loose.
So now the Yankees face elimination. They have to beat the best team in baseball two games in a row to advance. They lose tonight, they go home. And surprisingly, the Yankees have chosen CC Sabathia to start the game. While this seems a big gamble, it is not as if Sabathia hasn't been here before. He is 2018's Andy Pettitte trying to rally the day. But I thought sure that J.A. Happ would get the start. Boston is why the Yankees went and got him, right? That becomes moot if the Yankees go home.
On the other side, the Boston Red Sox will start, Rick Porcello, a pitcher who has made the Yankees look stupid on many an occasion. The Yankees had a lousy batting plan against Nathan Eovaldi and if they don't plan better against Porcello, they will go home. It is as simple as that. The Yankees cannot continue to try to pull the ball against these guys. Eovaldi will invade the dreams far into the winter.
Aaron Hicks is back. Is that a good thing? Can he play defense with a bad hammy? Can he play it as well as Brett Gardner? At least he will bat third and push Luke Voit down in the batting order. The Yankees got really carried away by batting Voit third yesterday. The guy is easy to love and all of that, but he is not a three-hole hitter and will bog down against good pitching. He is another guy who had all his success hitting the ball to right field and suddenly wants to pull everything now. Why do all Yankee players turn into that? Giancarlo Stanton? Gary Sanchez? Pull, pull, pull. Go the other way!!
The Yankees will win if they have a good plan against Porcello and get him early AND if CC Sabathia can survive four innings with less than three runs. The Yankees will lose in all other scenarios. But at least one shred of dignity will be left. Other than the Braves, the Yankees will be the only vanquished Division Series team that won at least once in the series.
Oh, and remember one thing. In 2004, the Yankees took a 3-0 series lead against the Red Sox by scoring 19 runs in the third game. They never won the fourth game. So anything is possible. It's just not probable.