BOSTON – A day before he faces the Boston Red Sox in the American League wild card game, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole said the name should not be mentioned within the confines of Fenway Park, at least not since the final decisive postseason game between longtime rivals had he settled on a shortstop who hit the winning home run over the Green Monster.
“Bucky Dent, right?” Cole said when asked what he knew about the history between the teams. “You dream of putting yourself in that position, and getting ahead with your team. And here we are ”.
Forty-three years after Dent’s homerun helped the Yankees beat Boston to break the tiebreaker for the AL East title, the teams meet again for a game that defines everything. with the winner advancing to face the Tampa Bay Rays in the Division Series.
Cole (16-8) faces Nathan Eovaldi (11-9) in Boston, where Dent blew the fence, where Jason Varitek pushed A-Rod, where Roger came back, where Pedro pushed Zimmer and where Dave Roberts stole second base to make everyone forget what had happened up until then.
“There’s a lot of excitement here,” said New York manager Aaron Boone, who handed Boston a loss when he hit the winning homer in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 2003 Championship Series at Yankee Stadium.
“Here it is important. It is fun to compete in the games here. It’s tough to compete in games here, ”Boone said. “I think there will be some tension, electricity. Everything you can expect from a decisive game in the postseason and from two exceptional franchises and teams. “
It will be the fifth time the teams have seen each other in the postseason, the 1978 playoff game counted as part of the regular season, with each ninth winning twice. In postseason games, New York leads 12-11, but Boston has won seven of the last eight.
Twice, the series have gone to the decisive seventh game, in the 2003 and 2004 Championship Series. Each team has won one of them.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who came to Boston as a player in 2005, just after the rivalry’s most recent height, said he was fueled back then by players like David Ortiz, Manny Ramírez, Derek Jeter and Jorge. Hostal.
Meanwhile, the Yankees expect Gio Urshela to be in the lineup Tuesday.
Urshela injured her right thigh and sustained a few cuts when she made a catch and jumped inside the Tampa Bay dugout in the teams’ final game of the regular season on Sunday, a massive play that helped New York to a 1- win. 0 that secured its wild card spot.
“I think we were incredibly lucky in that situation,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “As you know, it really scared me to see him launch there from my angle. He might be a little stiff or whatever. But I don’t think he has much of an impact.”