After 1st postseason cycle, Holt returns to Boston’s bench

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Kimbrel and the Red Sox - suspended in mid-celebration for a minute - resumed bouncing around in excitement.

He needed 35 pitches to get through two innings and nicked Benintendi on the right shoulder with a slider on his first pitch of the third. With a win, Boston will earn a trip to the American League Champion Series and a date with the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros.

At inning's end, Sabathia, a free agent now at age 38, walked slowly off the mound, and if anyone in the stadium took note of the fact it might have been his last appearance here in the pinstripes, they didn't show it. Eduardo Núñez brought Kinsler home with a single to left field to push the lead to three runs.

Xander Bogaerts advanced Pearce with a comebacker and, with David Robertson starting to warm up, Sabathia threw a wild pitch on a cross-up with Sanchez. What followed was the first postseason cycle in Major League Baseball history, one punctuated by a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning in a 16-1 Boston blowout. "We felt the matchup was good for him tonight although he was 0-for-whatever coming into the game tonight against Severino". Dominant closer, three-run lead, what could go wrong? The larger issue is Sabathia remaining in the game to make those mistake pitches.

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After hitting a record 267 home runs this season, the Yankees failed to hit any in Games 3 and 4, thus dropping their record to 10-23 this year, regular and postseason combined, when going homerless. "We've been doing it the whole season". It's very simple. The manager's No. 1 job is putting the club in the best possible position to succeed. But not only did they pop bottles-they did so to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York".

Brock Holt was 1 for 15 with six strikeouts in his career against starter Luis Severino entering Monday night.

There was no "sharpening of the process".

Sabathia is right, Hernandez is an terrible umpire (arguably the worst in the game) and shouldn't be placed in a critical scenario like the ALDS, particularly one involving the Yankees and Red Sox. After splitting two games at Fenway Park, they quieted the Yankees' boisterous crowd - and their risky bats.