“Everything is on the table.” - Dave Roberts on his game 4 starter as the #Dodgers face elimination on Tuesday @MLBNetwork pic.twitter.com/7QpmvS2XIz
The Red Sox have won 7 straight games with an opportunity to clinch a round/series, the 2nd-longest streak in MLB postseason history. The Athletics had a 9-game win streak in these games from 1973 to 1990. pic.twitter.com/iAEILIeO7z
Where payroll disparity quietly comes into play in MLB, Boston Red Sox can afford to throw $7 million at a washed utility player like Kike Hernandez, and sometimes they get a miraculous career season out of it
We can debate all day about just how much MLB managers can impact the game with their decision making in this analytics era, but teams definitely embody the personality of their manager. That’s the biggest difference between the Red Sox w/ Alex Cora & the Yankees w/ Aaron Boone.
Did the Red Sox win the ALDS?
Hernández stayed in the moment and delivered a 300-foot flyball that was plenty deep enough to score speedy pinch-runner Danny Santana, delivering the run that gave the Red Sox an exhilarating and stressful 6-5 victory in clinching Game 4 of the ALDS on a memorable Monday night at Fenway Park. MLB.comHernández walks off underdog Sox to ALCS
Is Red Sox series best of 5?
The Red Sox closed things down with a thrilling 6-5 victory Monday night at Fenway Park, winning the best-of-five ALDS, 3-1. The Red Sox won once again in walk-off fashion, with Kiké Hernández's sacrifice fly winning the game in the ninth. ... The win sends the Red Sox to their second ALCS in four years. CBS sports.comRed Sox vs. Rays score: Boston ousts Tampa with thrilling ALDS Game 4 victory
Why did the Red Sox wear yellow today?
The colors were selected to honor the Boston Marathon, which was postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Connect uniform is the only one in their lockers without the color red. WCVB BostonBoston Red Sox will not wear yellow Boston Marathon jerseys in ALDS Game 4
Are the Red Sox wearing yellow?
BOSTON -- Despite the fact that it's Marathon Monday, the Red Sox won't be donning their Marathon-themed yellow and blue jerseys for Game 4 of the ALDS against the Rays. Instead, Boston will wear its red home alternate jerseys for the third straight postseason game. masslive.comWhy aren’t Boston Red Sox wearing yellow uniforms on Marathon Monday? Alex Cora explains
12 October, 2021 - 04:33am
BOSTON (CBS) — Alex Cora was only three years removed from his last series win as an MLB manager. But it’s no doubt felt a lot longer than that.
Cora, of course, was suspended by Major League Baseball for the entirety of the 2020 season for his role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing operation in 2017, forcing him away from the game that’s been a part of him for his entire life.
But Cora served his suspension, owned up to what he did, and was able to return to Boston, where he won a World Series as a player in 2007 and as a manager in 2018. And after Monday night’s Game 4 win to send the Red Sox to the American League Championship Series, Cora couldn’t hold back his emotions when hugging his daughter on the field during the postgame celebration.
Not long after that moment, he was interviewed by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, and his emotions were still raw.
“It’s unreal,” Cora said with tears still in his eyes. “From top to bottom, we’ve been working hard to this point. Not too many people gave us a chance, but we obviously believed.”
Without being prompted, Cora reflected on his absence from the game for the 2020 season.
“I’m happy for everybody in the organization. Obviously, happy for my family. I put them in such a tough spot last year, and for them to be able to enjoy it, I know it’s very gratifying and I’m very happy for them,” Cora said. “[My daughter] suffered a lot, and it was my fault. And, you know, sometimes we make bad decisions, and I made a horrible decision in baseball. And I paid the price. But what really hurt me was for them to suffer because of my mistakes. And for her to enjoy this, it’s very gratifying.”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 12, 2021
As a manager, Cora has now guided the Red Sox to a 15-4 playoff record, winning four playoff series plus a Wild Card game.
Later, in his postgame press conference, Cora was asked what type of emotion he was feeling after the win.
“A lot of things. A lot of things,” he said.”Just proud of the group. Proud of everybody here. Happy for my family that they can enjoy this. Happy for Boston. It was an amazing day. That was loud. That was actually better than yesterday.”
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12 October, 2021 - 01:31am
The first postseason meeting of these AL East heavyweights seemed decided, and Arozarena used some of that salty carbohydrate fuel to steal home plate an inning later. But like any big-screen blockbuster, there were plot twists to come: Tampa Bay didn't win another game after that 5-0 victory, and the Red Sox were the ones partying by the end of the ALDS on Monday.
"I didn't even see it during the game," Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "We were losing, so we were trying to get back in the game. But I saw it later and I was like, 'Damn, they were really doing that?' I mean, they felt comfortable. The next day, they came out and hit that grand slam, they were up 5-2. We just chipped, chipped, chipped away."
Postgame, Bogaerts was thrilled to see: "FLIGHT TO TAMPA: CANCELLED" written on a whiteboard in the clubhouse after Boston's series-clinching 6-5 win in Game 4. The Red Sox partied hard, and Bogaerts said he felt the momentum shift soon after Jordan Luplow's first-inning grand slam off Chris Sale in Game 2.
ALERT: Flight to Tampa CANCELLED. pic.twitter.com/KRbotHsvhc
Here's how the Red Sox advanced past the 100-win Rays, earning the right to face the Astros or the White Sox with a pennant on the line:
"You guys looked at it like a shutout, but we were all super confident about it because we all hit the ball hard," outfielder J.D. Martinez said. "We kept talking about that: 'Dude, the ball just didn't bounce our way.'"
Their trust paid dividends, especially when Kiké Hernández savored a turn as the hottest hitter on the planet. Of course, it was Hernández who lifted the sacrifice fly that decided the ALDS. Hernández's nine hits in the final three games tied a Major League postseason record for most in a three-game span.
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"We felt very comfortable with him," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He was putting good at-bats after good at-bats, and he did an amazing job against a tough pitching staff. We're very proud of him."
Houck restored order Friday night by spinning five innings of one-run, two-hit ball, extending a personal string of batters retired to 30 over four appearances before allowing a Wander Franco single. Ji-Man Choi later homered off Houck, but by that point Boston had already taken the lead. Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock and Ryan Brasier were also crucial in the series.
Meanwhile, eyebrows were raised when Rays manager Kevin Cash turned to right-hander Matt Wisler in the fifth inning of a tied Game 2, bypassing Pete Fairbanks and Andrew Kittredge. Battling inflammation in his right middle finger, Wisler hung a slider that Martinez belted for a two-run homer.
"We had everything going our way," the Rays' Kevin Kiermaier said. "They hit some very clutch homers shortly after that to get them back in the game. Then they scored 14 more runs after that, it seemed like. I feel like if we would have gotten two or three shutdown innings right there … it's crazy how momentum works in baseball."
The umpires correctly applied Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H), awarding each runner two bases from the time of the pitch; crew chief Sam Holbrook even brought his copy of the 2021 MLB Umpire Manual to read for reporters. Kiermaier called it a "heartbreaker," an outcome made more unfortunate for Tampa Bay when Christian Vázquez hit a walk-off two-run homer in the home half of the 13th.
"I think everybody's frustrated [with] it," said the Rays' Brandon Lowe. "In the long-run of things, I guess it really wouldn't have mattered. Vázquez did hit a two-run homer, not a solo walk-off. It would have been nice to have a one-run lead. It changes a lot of things in it. But when you look back on it, he hit a two-run homer, so that one run might not have made much of a difference."
That seemed especially true in Game 4, when the Boston Marathon festivities spilled through the turnstiles. Cora noted that the crowd seemed to have been -- ahem -- well-lubricated long before first pitch, and their sing-song chanting created an intimidating atmosphere for the visitors. The fans may have even played a part in Boston knocking McClanahan for five runs.
"We had just seen him in the first game, so I think being on the road, being in front of our fan base -- that was a little bit different for him," Verdugo said. "He left a couple of pitches out over the plate, and hey, we didn't miss them."