NEW YORK Baseball, they say, is a game of numbers. Here are a few:108-100;3-1;3-1.
That first number is wins from the 2018 regular season, in which the Red Sox won the AL East withan 108-54 record, while the Yankees finished second with an 100-62 record. The second number is the ALDS finish Beantown ousted New York 3-1 on Tuesday night in the Bronx.
The third and most important number, that's World Series won since 2001 threetoone in favor of Boston. Another could be on its way.
After ALDS Game 4, the champagne didn't seem to stop flowing, as "New York, New York" echoed through the underbelly of the Yankee Stadium but it wasn't coming from the stadium's P.A. system. In fact, it was coming from the visiting clubhouse, where a jubilant Red Sox team popped bottle after bottle of champagne, celebrating the series win.
Just how good does that champagne taste?
"Oh, it's awesome," Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes said with a grin. "Burns in the eyes a little bit, it really does. But it's phenomenal. It's been a great season, starting with winning the division. The team played great over the last four days."
Walking into the Bronx and beating the Yankees is no easy task. The Yankees lost just 28 games at home in 2018, losing back-to-back games five times during the season in Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox walked down Jerome Avenue and punched the Yankees in the mouth. The House that George Built might as well be nicknamed Beantown South.
The Bronx and all its history is special, and the Red Sox players know it. Justhours before Game 4, Red Sox manager Alex Cora smirked and gathered himself when asked how special it would be to clincha series victory in the Bronx.
Citing his interview with Red Sox management in a New York hotel as Houston's bench coach Kyle Bird Jersey during the Astros' ALCS run in 2017, Cora said New York is close to him.
"This is a special place," he said, gathering himself, trying to hide a smile."Earlier in the season we clinched here, and like I mentioned, it's full circle for me.I still remember that interview last year in October,and that was the beginning of this."
The "beginning of this" is actually the continuation of the rivalry; anotherchapter of the book of the Red Sox-Yankee saga. History is written by the victor, and the pen has been in the hands of Red Sox organization for some time now.
Whether it's measured in division crowns Red C.D. Pelham Jersey Sox have four since 2008, as opposed to the Yankees' three or World Series victories the Red Sox have three since 2004, while the Yankees have a 2009 ring to flaunt or head-to-head record in 2018 (10-9 in favor of the Sawx), the Red Soxhaveerased years of heartbreak and penned a new story, one in which the loveable losers and perennial underdogsbecame a juggernaut. Even the Yankees' most recent "crowning" achievement, a 2017 ALCS appearance, has been matched by the Red Sox, just a year later.
What's most impre sive is how Boston has been able to beat the Yankees at their own game,which wasn'tthe case in years past. The Red Sox built a new core, anchored by MVP-candidate Mookie Betts, long before the current Yankees' group came to be. The Red Sox out-spent the Yankees in trade capital and free agency, reinforcing the roster year after year. Some scoffed when No. 1 overall prospect Yoan Moncada was sent to the White Sox for pitcher Chris Sale.Those scoffs were silenced when Sale slammed the door during the eighth inning in ALDS Game 4.
Not to discredit the Yanks, though, who put together an impre sive campaign, overcoming major injuries, rotation i sues and more en route to 100 wins with rookie manager Aaron Boone. The truth is, Boston is a step ahead of the Yankees. The Sox arein the driver's seat, steering their ownnarrative. What a time to be alive.
Knowing this, Betts tried to downplaythe significance of beating the Yankees inYankee Stadium.Other Isiah Kiner-Falefa Jersey members ofRed Sox fanned the flames a bit.
"That's a really good baseball team," super utilityman Brock Holt told SN. "The way we were able to play all season, and win the division outright and clinch that at Yankee Stadium was pretty special. But then to play them in this series, and beat them it's pretty Adrian Beltre Jersey special, too.
"To get here 1-1 and win two games here was pretty huge, and it'll give us confidence moving forward."
"I think I'd lie to you if I said no," Barnes said when asked whether it was extra sweet beating the Yankees in New York. "It's one of the biggest rivalries in sports. This is it. This is kind of what you live for Yankees-Red Sox postseason."
While the timeline to win a World Series accelerated for the Yankees, the team wasn't without itsflaws in 2018. Those flawswere exposed during their ALDS showdown with the Sox:a poor starting rotation, reliance on the home run for offense, inexperienced coaching and managing.
Nowanother year ahead, the Red Sox have a head start on sustained succe s. Boston players lauded first-year skipper Alex Cora for his ability to communicate and cater to the players. His uncanny ability to push the right buttons was praised by Holt,Sale, J.D. Martinezand Ryan Rua Jersey others on Tuesday.
For the longest time it was Boston chasing New York, their rings, their succe s. Now, the roles are reversed.
Just like the Yankee Stadium anthem says, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere," the Red Sox made it in New York on Sept. 20 to take the division and then again Tuesday to advance to the ALCS.But to beat the Yankees at home and start the newest chapter of the rivalry with a Boston byline? That'strouble brewing for the Bombers.
The sadne s inside the Yankee locker room was palpable, but some pained, bittersweet smiles eked acro s faces. Manager Aaron Boone smiled as players exited, one by one, congratulating the team on a succe sful season. The latest, and newest, iteration of the rivalry has begun.
"It's fun," Betts said with a wide smile and champagne-glazed goggles."It's the best rivalry in sports, and I think this year showed it."