Red Sox Notebook: 2018 Playoff Berth Clinched

Red Sox Notebook: 2018 Playoff Berth Clinched

by September 13, 2018 0 comments

Utility man Brock Holt propelled the Boston Red Sox past the Toronto Blue Jays in their 99th win of the season, securing a 2018 playoff berth in the process. The team must win only nine out of the next 17 games to clinch the AL East, following the Yankees’ recent loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Although an early playoff berth by no means guarantees a successful playoff run, previous Red Sox teams have come to win it all coming out of similar scenarios. The 2013 and 2007 Red Sox were both first to clinch a playoff spot in their respective seasons.

As for last night’s win, Red Sox manager Alex Cora played a significant role in the team’s victory. Mitch Moreland was in the on-deck circle preparing to hit for catcher Sandy Leon when Cora opted to send in Holt to pinch-hit. Holt sent a sinker from pitcher Ryan Tempera into the grandstands, lifting the score to 4-2 in favor of Boston.

“The game sped up on me at that point,” Cora said. “I looked to the bullpen and they had a lefty. I wasn’t going to hit for Mitch in the lefty-lefty matchup I didn’t like there. So it went to Brock, they stayed with the righty, and it paid off.”

Boston added three more runs in the eighth inning tallying a final score of 7-2. Following the game, the team celebrated with champagne showers and a toast from Cora.

 

Sale returns to the rotation

Ace Chris Sale pitched only one inning in his first appearance off the disabled list since Aug. 12. Sale threw 26 pitches, including two strikeouts, resulting in a scoreless inning.

According to Sale, the start was “erratic.”

“Threw up my pitch count a little bit, which is why I didn’t get to go out for my second or third inning but got some good work in, and I’ll move on from there,” Sale said. “I knew today was going to be an abbreviated start. Three [innings] was the best-case scenario. Going for just the one inning kind of stunk. I kind of had higher hopes than that.”

As the team’s most trusted pitcher, Sale’s health is an obvious concern heading into the postseason. It is highly likely that the Sox are being overly cautious regarding his slow return to the mound in order to preserve him for October.

Up Next:

Blue Jays @ Red Sox, Wednesday, September 12, 7:10pm

Blue Jays @ Red Sox, Thursday, September 13, 7:10pm

Mets @ Red Sox, Friday, September 14, 7:10pm

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