Mitch's Sports Report: Betts, Price, Tanaka, And Judge Keep Red Sox And Yankees Seasons Afloat

Oct 9, 2017

For anyone hoping for another ALCS showdown between the Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees, there's still a chance it could happen. Both the Red Sox and Yankees staved of elimination from the American League Division series with dramatic wins at their respective home venues.

It looked like a sweep for a second straight year was in the stars for the Red Sox when Doug Fister gave up three quick runs to the Houston Astros in the first inning at Fenway Park, but he got a quick hook in favor of Joe Kelly, who kept the Astros off the board, and then the ball was turned over to the much-maligned David Price, who's had a rough season as a starter beset by injuries, and an off-the-field spat with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who now does color commentary for the Red Sox. Eck was called out by Price on the team plane for remarks Price thought were unfair to teammate Eduardo Rodriguez. Price never apologized for the outburst and fans took Eck's side in the incident, but Price got the fan love back yesterday, proving he can still help the Red Sox win even if he's not being used in the role as starter for which they pay him handsomely.

Price emerged from the bullpen and gave Boston four scoreless innings of relief, a brilliant performance that allowed the offense to finally find its groove and put up double digits in a 10-3 victory that keeps their playoff hopes alive for at least one more day.

The turning point in the game happened in the second inning. Already ahead 3-0, the Astros had two on when Josh Reddick sent a ball deep to right field. Mookie Betts tracked it all the way to the low wall and reached over his head to snag the ball just before it could fall into the stands for a three-run homer that would have put the game out of reach. It wasn't quite as spectacular a catch as the one Dwight Evans made in game six of the 1975 World Series but it was in almost the same spot and it did end the inning and save the game for Boston.

The winning runs came off the bat of rookie 3rd baseman Rafael Devers, who put the Red Sox up for good 4-3 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd. Hanley Ramirez also had a huge day at the plate, going 4 for 4 with three runs driven in, and Jackie Bradley Jr. added a three run blast when his shot to right bounced out of Reddick's glove and into the stands near the Pesky Pole.  

So the Red Sox are still facing elimination when they play game four this afternoon, weather permitting, and Rick Porcello, who's had a terrible year one season removed from his Cy Young season of 2016, must do a whole lot better than Fister did yesterday if the Red Sox are going to force a game five, because Price won't be available today to bail him out.

As for the Yankees, they got a clutch pitching performance from Masahiro Tanaka, who's also had his share of struggles this season. But Tanaka struck out seven and gave up just three hits in a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians that keeps New York's season alive. The only run of the game was a homer by Greg Bird in the seventh off the normally untouchable Andrew Miller, and just as the Red Sox got a game-saving catch from Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge did the same for the Yankees, robbing Francisco Lindor of a round-tripper in the sixth, reaching high over the wall in right to take away Lindor's bid for a two-run shot. Aroldis Chapman got five outs for the save. The Yankees will send out ace Luis Severino with their season still on the line in game four tonight while the Indians will counter with game one winner Trevor Bauer.

In the NFL, the NY Giants season is likely over after just five weeks of play, the G-men now 0-5 after suffering a 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, who came away with their first win of the year when Philip Rivers threw a ten-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon with just under three minutes to play. Adding injury to insult, the Giants also lost their star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who left the game with an injured ankle. Earlier, he'd hauled in a 48-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning, who was sacked five times in the game.

The Cleveland Browns also haven't won a game yet, and were beaten yesterday by their former quarterback and by a team a lot of people thought could be winless this time of year rather than 3-2 as they are, and that's the NY Jets. Josh McCown threw two touchdown passes in the Jets 17-14 win.

One NHL game last night. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots and picked up his 62nd career shut out as the NY Rangers topped the Montreal Canadiens 2-0.

In women's college soccer, UVM junior Savana Yurick scored the only goal of the ame late in the second  half to give UVM a 1-0 win over Maine, improving the Catamounts record to 6-5-2.

A dramatic overtime goal with just ten seconds left in the extra frame by Middlebury's Eliza Van Voorhis gave the Middlebury Panthers a 2-1 victory over Weslyean. The Panthers are having a great season, now at 8-2-1 overall.

Despite two goals by their all-time leading scorer Kylie Aither, the Johnson State badgers fell 3-2 to Colby Sawyer, and the Lyndon State Hornets are still winless on the season after suffering a 5-0 defeat to New England College.

Castleton scored two late goals to beat UMaine-Farmington, 2-0. The game was scoreless into the 80th minute when Rylee Nichols sent a header into the net and Makenzi Bellando added insurance just two minutes later to give the Spartans the win.

In men's college soccer, Brandon Reid got his first collegiate goal and it was a  game winner, the only score of the match as Middlebury topped Weslyean 1-Nil to improve to 7-4 on the year.

Johnson State was shut out by Colby Sawyer 4-Nil, and Lyndon State was shut out as well by new England College 5-0.

In college field hockey the Maine Black Bears kept UVM off the score board in a 4-0 win in Maine, and the Middlebury Panthers now have a five game winning streak after beating Weslyean 3-0. Annie Leonard scored twice for the Panthers, and it was a milestone win for coach Katharine DeLorenzo, the 350th of her career.