Yankees' Severino confident heading into Game 3 start vs. Red Sox

Yankees' Severino confident heading into Game 3 start vs. Red Sox

Down quickly 3-0 to the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, any whisper of faith Red Sox fans had in their No. 2 starter blew away in the October wind as quickly as Aaron Judge's blast in the top of the first. Speaking of soft, we're about to find out just how tough this Red Sox team is. I just didn't break. They're both power-dominant pitchers, and it's going to be a fun game.

We are only two games into the postseason for one of the winningest teams in recent baseball history and already the Red Sox' playoff plans are on shaky ground.

Severino's last outing against the Red Sox was a good one on September 19, though the Sox were already in spring training mode. The hope is one pitcher goes five innings and the other finishes the last four.

Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka started for NY and allowed Boston batters only one run on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five innings.

Cora and the Red Sox wouldn't sound off about Judge's musical taste - not that they could hear the famous Kander and Ebb song on Fenway's concourse through thick clubhouse walls after the 6-2 win in Game 2. Sanchez's second homer (off of Eduardo Rodriguez's 92.7 miles per hour fastball) went an estimated 479 feet - making him only the second Yankee catcher in Postseason history with two home runs in one playoff game.

Instead, the wild-card Yankees will have a chance to advance to the AL Championship Series with victories at home, where they are 7-0 over the past two postseasons, in Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday nights. "I know he's going to contribute", Cora said.

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Game 3 will feature a lot of Old Country Hardball, as John Lackey used to call it. Although Sanchez told ESPN's Buster Olney, postgame, that he didn't think much of it, considering Brasier struck out Sanchez with a 97 miles per hour fastball, Brasier's brashness went unwarranted upon Sanchez's nail in the coffin homer, two frames later.

It's not easy finding a good matchup for Price against the Yankees. "We trust him. He's bounced back before". Like when you throw 100 and you place it in the right spot, even if they take a good swing, you can get missed hits. "So that's a key".

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. He enters this game having allowed just one run in 16 innings against them since being traded from the Rays in July.

"You've got to ask [Judge] if it was something for us", Cora said, "but I doubt it". "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". He's a guy that, when he hits the ball out of the ballpark, he [puts his head down] and runs.

Aaron Boone also doesn't know why Severino went through such a prolonged run of poor performance. If the series goes the distance he'd be scheduled to get the ball for Game 5 back here next Thursday. We'll talk. Obviously, we need outs. "Should be Nate 3, Rick 4".

"Nate hasn't pitched in a while".

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