Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge power Yankees to Game 2 win in ALDS


It makes obvious fodder for discussion for anyone following postseason baseball, from the casual fan at the water cooler to the seasoned analyst on television.

Both were wins by the reigning World Series champion Astros and both ended with former Toronto closer getting former Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson to hit into the final out of the game.

One issue: The notion of "momentum" inside a short Major League Baseball postseason series does not exist, or at least seems impossible to identify with any evidence beyond the anecdotal. When he's had six days of rest or more, he has a 1.67 ERA. "I'm trying to do the same thing that I have been doing; stay aggressive and try to get that first pitch strike out of the way". I know my struggle, and I know what it was that wasn't working that time.

There's a big, fun reveal coming in a minute. We talked a little bit yesterday, just talked to him about it. The first game of any series, here, establishes the momentum, but does not reflect whether momentum helped a team.

But to that point, let's go back to the first thought of matchup, because Eovaldi might actually be the better one against either Severino or Sabathia.

After broadcasting his show from Fenway Park on Saturday night and watching the Yankees take Game 2 of their ALDS against the Red Sox, Evan Roberts wasted no time sharing his thoughts on the game - he recorded the latest edition of his podcast from inside his auto leaving the ballpark. "I've got to say they have a good lineup, and I need to hit my spots, don't do mistakes, and try to go deep in my game". The Yankees have allowed only five home runs in their seven home playoff games the last two years. The tone was set with that home run in the wild-card game. Should the Red Sox win Game 3, they have a former Cy Young Award victor pitching basically in his hometown (Porcello went to Seton Hall Prep) to try to advance Boston to the ALCS; if they lose, though, then they have the same former Cy Young Award victor pitching to keep them alive instead of a wild card in Eovaldi.

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"I just want to win". Again: 80-82. Eighty and eighty-two.

The Yankees have the kind of power hitters who can hit home runs anywhere - they hit 123 home runs on the road this season, second only to the Athletics (136) - but Yankee Stadium is where they do their most damage. The crowd is loud and raucous, and opponents last postseason admitted the crowd can impact the game.

My math, again, is imperfect. It went down as the second-longest postseason homer in the Statcast era (since 2015).

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees got the win they needed on Saturday night, taking down the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Rick Porcello is scheduled to start Game 4 on Tuesday and Chris Sale would be in line to pitch a Game 5, if necessary, at Fenway Park on Thursday. I remember their faces, aghast, when the Sox tied the game against Rivera in the ninth. "He's been able to do that so far in the postseason, limiting the mistakes".

But because this is Boston, and because memories are long here, and because there is a history to account for, you can be assured that all anyone was talking about, as 39,151 fans trudged out of Fenway Park, tuned into sports-talk radio and bellied up to the corner bar, was the unimaginable, uncanny and unacceptable futility - not only Saturday night, but seemingly any time he climbs a mound as a starting pitcher with the stakes at their highest - of left-handed pitcher David Price. Viewed as a series of coin-tosses, that one would mark three straight tails followed by eight consecutive heads - an eye-opening sequence, though not an impossible one.

Whether the Red Sox use it as motivation remains to be seen, but they have bigger concerns when it comes to Judge.