The Yankees catcher, who tested his manager's confidence with a sub-.200 batting average and poor defense for most of the season, hit two homers, the second a 479-foot shot clear out of the ballpark that sent NY to a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night and tied their AL Division Series at one game apiece.
Severino has fared well against the Red Sox at home.
"Monday", Price said matter-of-factly when asked when he could conceivably pitch again. The 28-year-old right-hander, who throws at 97-98 miles per hour, allowed no earned runs in three of four starts this year against the Yankees. "He didn't make pitches. He's rested, had a good week, and we're going with him". It was Friday night, moments before the opening game of the American League Division Series and a couple of hours before Porcello-to his surprise and most everyone else's-would be summoned to pitch. "That's kind of what we've been waiting for to some degree, where he can take over a game on offense".
Just a few feet away from that spot is a plaque noting that only the six home runs in the 106-year history of Fenway Park have cleared the back wall on the other side of the flagpole.
Between home runs, Sanchez got into a spat with Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier over Sanchez's repeated attempts at stepping out of the batter's box during his fifth-inning at-bat.
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Yankees players were ready for familiar sounds when the series resume. Cora said as much on Sunday, adding that he'd had a discussion with his pitcher about taking responsibility. The veteran left-hander entered the game with a lifetime ERA of 2.98 in his 21 starts against the Red Sox. He had been open with the media in recent weeks, perhaps to a fault, about how important this October would be to the mission of redirecting the narrative arc of his career.
Would they want to start their best pitcher in Chris Sale, in an effort to avoid elimination? The early signs were not promising. The first game of any series, here, establishes the momentum, but does not reflect whether momentum helped a team.
If the Red Sox lose the third game, then they will be staring elimination in the face for the next one and they would have to make a tough decision.
Sanchez then connected off Price to lead off the second, a rocket into the second row of the Green Monster seats. "And Aaron, he's one of our resident deejays, so he's got a pretty extensive playlist", NY manager Aaron Boone said later in the day at Yankee Stadium, a smirk filling his face. But if there is faith left when it comes to Price it emanates from Cora's clubhouse.
"I mean, everybody knows that Judge has way more power than me", Sanchez said, speaking through an interpreter. I guess that's the one that was going. "And that's something I wasn't able to do tonight".
And it almost happened that way.
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Sanchez struck out on the next pitch, a 97 miles per hour fastball.
Sanchez finished the night 2-for-5 with four RBIs, in addition to navigating starter Masahiro Tanaka through a strong five innings of three-hit baseball.
With four more years and $127 million left on Price contract - he has an opt-out clause, but is unlikely to exercise it - there is plenty of time to debate whether his acute postseason woes are some sort of character flaw, such as a sheer inability to handle the pressure, or a random fluke of statistics and small sample sizes.
Aaron Judge also homered off Price.
"My spirits aren't down", he said. "That's what I look forward to doing". I've certainly been guilty of it myself, and anyone eager to prove me a waffling fool upon reading this post could dig up countless examples of this author stating - in print, online, in radio interviews, in real-life conversations - that playoff wins like the Yankees' series-evening victory in Boston on Saturday might represent some greater change in the course of the series. We'll talk. Obviously, we need outs. But when he came up again in the seventh, he broke the game open.
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