With a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, Craig Kimbrel delivered the 1-2 count with runners on first and second. Approaching the inning, his team had been ahead of their rivals 4-1 since the fifth inning, but the closer had let the Yankees back into the game. Gleyber Torres hit the pitch to third base, a slow-ish dribbler that was going to make life very hard for Eduardo Nunez. The third baseman couldn’t go to third, and he couldn’t throw to second. He’d have to throw a laser across the diamond and hope to get his man. He did, just barely, and upon a challenge, it was confirmed that the Boston Red Sox had won Game 4 and had advanced to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS.
Prior to the dramatic closing moments of the game, the Red Sox were able to push Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia out of the game after just three innings pitched. The veteran lefty criticized the umpire in a big way post-game and only gave up three earned runs in his time on the mound on Tuesday night, but as we so often see it was more than enough to see him exit the game due to that fact that managers are so much more aggressive in these playoff games nowadays. After making the move, New York had a 3-0 lead to come back from. It would become 4-0 later on with Vasquez homering a solo shot to give the Red Sox a decent lead.
They were able to do that, almost, but the reason why is because of their fantastic bullpen’s pitching throughout after Sabathia had left. Only Britton gave up a run, the aforementioned solo shot from Vasquez, and that helped them have a chance. They scraped across three runs, two of which came in the ninth after they took advantage of Kimbrel’s wild pitching. But in the end, they just couldn’t muster enough, and the Red Sox held on to play “New York, New York” to celebrate the victory that will see them take on the defending champion Houston Astros in what should be a classic ALCS beginning on Saturday.