McCarthy: Cora Needs to Start Holt, Devers in Game 3

Dellin Betances celebrates with Gary Sanchez after getting out of the seventh inning in the Yankees' 6-2 win in Game 2 of the ALDS Saturday night

McCarthy: Cora Needs to Start Holt, Devers in Game 3

Asked about what he's learned about facing the Red Sox so many times, Severino wouldn't provide much information. "Again, I feel like the key to that is working ahead and staying ahead and not really giving them the free bases and little things like that".

"I told everyone, 'Get me up, ' " Holt said. On a Boston-area sports-talk radio show this author happened to catch while driving back to NY on Sunday, hosts argued that the Red Sox should eat the remainder of Price's seven-year, $217-million contract and send him packing this offseason. His first trip through the Boston order produced a series of line-drive outs, plus two singles, a walk and a Red Sox run.

In a 16-1 rout of the Yankees in the Bronx, Holt was the Red Sox' offensive star.

Because Porcello pitched effectively in Game 1 out of the bullpen (two-thirds of a scoreless inning), he has had a head start on flipping his postseason script.

Game 3 of the American League Division Series is monumental, there's no doubt about that.

He has larger expectations for Monday. He didn't even get to play the field.

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Perhaps Boone gave Severino too much rope because he didn't have a good feeling about his bullpen.

".it could be three, could be four, could be - but I'm still open to it being eight innings", Boone said. "It's kind of cat and mouse going back and forth, but we knew what our game plan was". Both the Judge and Sanchez homers came on 91-mph fastballs, a couple of ticks below Price's 93-mph average this season. In 24 appearances and 23 starts against the Yankees, including the postseason, he is 10-9 with a 3.22 ERA. He offered one suggestion for his success at home. "I don't know. I'm not sure", he said. "I don't think it's sunk in".

But to that point, let's go back to the first thought of matchup, because Eovaldi might actually be the better one against either Severino or Sabathia. Devers has hit five home runs since returning from the minor leagues at the beginning of September. "He's been able to do that so far in the postseason, limiting the mistakes".

No more. I've seen enough.

The aggressive manner in which Boone managed that victory was near-perfect, and instructive: driven by the do-or-die stakes, he pulled Severino at the first sign of trouble in the fifth, and used only his most reliable and dominant relievers in guiding home a 7-2 win. "So that ended up affecting the Cy Young-type of season that he was having and affecting his performance when they needed him the most".

Eovaldi's mark at Yankee Stadium is 3.38 in two starts, slightly better than his 3.70 career ERA in the Bronx, but again, that's inflated by the one start he made here with the Rays - or, if you look at the other side of the coin, not representative of the six shutout innings he pitched here on September 16.

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