Kevin McNamara: Its time for Red Sox to show their mettle

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Some three hours of baseball were played Saturday night between the moment the Boston Red Sox's starting pitcher departed the proceedings and the moment when Game 2 of the American League Division Series ended - three hours in which the outcome was still more or less malleable, and the Red Sox's hopes of stealing a win from the visiting New York Yankees went from unlikely to quite fathomable to dwindling to nil. After a pair of back-to-back walks to Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner, Andrew McCutchen got in on the fun, too, this time with an RBI single that inflated the Yankees' lead to 3-0.

Five innings later, Sanchez crushed a more poorly located pitch, depositing Eduardo Rodriguez's 92.7 miles per hour two-seam fastball well beyond the high wall in left-center. Judge's homer was hit 2 feet farther than the one Giancarlo Stanton had in Wednesday's wild-card game at Yankee Stadium.

After one of his shortest outings of the season - and his only disastrous start since becoming a New York Yankee, Friday's Game 1 losing starter J.A. Happ was in shock afterwards.

"The pitch to Sanchez was down and away, but he was leaning out there, get the head out and hit it out of the ballpark", Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

"He's had success against them", Cora said.

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"I've got to tell you there's nothing like this season", admitted Sanchez. Boston didn't manage to catch a break until the fourth inning, when Xander Bogaerts jumped on a first-pitch fastball and postmarked it straight out to the center field stands for a solo home run. The Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka, on the other hand, mowed down the Red Sox' lineup inning after inning. The veteran left-hander entered the game with a lifetime ERA of 2.98 in his 21 starts against the Red Sox.

Luis Severino against Nathan Eovaldi might sound like a dream scenario for the Bronx Bombers, as they return home with the series tied and the momentum in their favor. "Whatever I have to do to help us do that, I'm fine with". "But I can tell you it's an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, a legend of baseball", Sanchez said. Both the Judge and Sanchez homers came on 91-mph fastballs, a couple of ticks below Price's 93-mph average this season.

The teams have Sunday off before resuming the series in NY on Monday night.

"The reason why [I called timeout] was because my hands were a little numb from a foul ball", Sanchez said to ESPN's Buster Olney on the field after the game. "I want him to go out and be himself and go out there and look to really set the tone for us and throw his game, and if he does that, hopefully, we'll be in a good spot at any time when we take him out tomorrow". "So, no big deal". He just endured a hard regular season. He also led all major league catchers this season in passed balls with 18. "If he's doing that, he's going to be a unsafe hitter". I know my struggle, and I know what it was that wasn't working that time. "From his cage work to his [batting practice], he's been seemingly locked in", Judge said.

"He's been swinging the bat well". "You know he's a big part of our offense". The Yankees' were 53-28 there during the regular season, the second-best home record behind Boston's 57-24.

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