Sox Lose Series To Tribe
The Boston Red Sox entered Game 3 of their American League Division Series battle with the Cleveland Indians, hoping to stave off elimination for another day. Unfortunately for Red Sox Nation, it was a former Boston outfielder that rose to the occasion, Monday night, ending the Sox' postseason run with a 4-3 loss to the AL Central Champions.
With their postseason hopes dwindling, the Sox gave the ball to right-hander Clay Buchholz, who's up and down season ended on a high note and secured him a chance to factor into the playoff rotation. Buchholz started strong for Boston but got himself into a two on, nobody out jam in the top of the fourth inning.
As they have all season long, the Indians were able to take advantage of the situation, as veteran and former Boston outfielder Coco Crisp successfully bunted the two runners into scoring position. From there, rookie outfielder Tyler Naquin fully capitalized on the opportunity, lining a two-run single over the head of first baseman Hanley Ramirez and into right field.
That rally put the Tribe on top and signaled the end of the night for Buchholz, as Red Sox skipper John Farrell had seen enough with his team on the brink of elimination.
Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi doubled in the bottom of the fifth to score a run and get Boston back to within one.
The Boston bullpen faltered in the sixth, however, as lefty Drew Pomeranz, who worked out of the rotation during the regular season, gave up a two-run homer to Crisp. The home run marked Crisp's first postseason dinger since the 2012 season.
Boston chipped into the lead with two more runs, one coming in the sixth and the other coming in the eighth, but it was a little too late for the AL East Champs to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Red Sox got two men on in the bottom of the ninth and had a chance to push across the tying run, but third baseman Travis Shaw, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth, hit a fly ball to right field to end the game.
Farewell To Papi- For Boston, the loss of course ended their season, but also brought an official end to the career of the team's beloved designated hitter, David "Big Papi" Ortiz.
The 40-year-old had an all-time great season for players of his age, but like many of his teammates struggled to produce throughout the three postseason games.
In a classy moment, immediately following the final out, Red Sox fans began chanting for Ortiz and honoring the star for the last time of his illustrious career.
A Hot Start- Indians starter Josh Tomlin, pitched a strong five innings for the Tribe, allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out four batters. While the outing won't go down in the record books as one of the greatest starts in postseason history, it got the job done and allowed Cleveland manager Terry Francona to bridge the gap to his daunting bullpen. Tomlin also got the victory, as he left with the lead in tact.
Give It To The Big Dogs- Thanks to Tomlin's strong start, Francona was able to get just enough out of his starter to put his dominating bullpen back to work. The combination of Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen replicated their dominant performance in game one of the series, pitching four innings of one-run baseball to secure the series win. Miller was summoned from the pen first and pitched two innings, striking out three and allowing one inherited runner to score. Shaw then came on to get two outs, before giving up an RBI single to Hanley Ramirez in the eighth. From there, the closer, Allen, managed to navigate his way through the bottom of the order and clinch the win.