Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi faced an uphill struggle going into Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Facing Yankees ace Luis Severino in the tough playoff atmosphere of Yankee Stadium, Eovaldi had at least one pundit in his corner: former Red Sox great Pedro Martinez.
I expect the unexpected from Eovaldi. He has pitched at Yankees Stadium, he knows the rivalry, now he just has to bring his A-game. #PostSeason
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) October 8, 2018
As it turned out, Eovaldi had more than enough life in his fastball to showcase his “A-game” over seven strong innings in a 16-1 Red Sox win.
By the end of his night, Eovaldi had allowed just one run, scattering five hits over seven innings and striking out five Yankees. Of his 97 pitches, he recorded 72 strikes against just 25 balls.
Here are a few other stats from Eovaldi’s masterful Game 3 performance:
He threw over 100 miles per hour 11 times, including the last pitch of his night.
While Eovaldi’s off-speed pitches were working effectively as well, his natural ability to find velocity on his fastball allowed the Red Sox starter to challenge Yankee hitters all night.
In a crucial at-bat against Aaron Judge, Eovaldi hit 100 mph three times. And his final pitch of the night – which induced a ground out from Gleyber Torres – also crossed the threshold of triple digits.
Eovaldi finishes the 7th inning with a 100 mph heater on his 96th pitch. Dominance. Hembree now loosening.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) October 9, 2018
All told, he hit 100 mph or more on the radar gun 11 times.
His ERA against the Yankees in 2018 is just 0.39.
Eovaldi was acquired by the Red Sox on July 25. His second start for Boston came against their New York rivals. In the game Eovaldi pitched eight scoreless innings, yielding just three hits and one walk in a 4-1 win.
It was a sign of things to come.
Eovaldi pitched two more times against the Yankees in the regular season, giving up zero earned runs.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 8, 2018
In Monday’s Game 3, Eovaldi actually did give up a run, though it ended up not mattering amid the rout that the relentless Red Sox offense orchestrated.
In all, his 2018 numbers against the Yankees amount to 23 innings pitched, and a microscopic 0.39 ERA.
He limited the Yankees to sub-Brock Holt numbers.
Eovaldi’s dominance – combined with Brock Holt’s historic night – meant that the two Red Sox players produced a remarkable statistic:
Insane but true: Brock Holt had more total bases (10) tonight than all the Yankees put together (6)
— Lev Novak (@LevNovak) October 9, 2018
Holt, who hit for the first postseason cycle in baseball history, actually achieved the feat counting just two of his four hits on the night.
It underscored the night that Eovaldi had against a powerful New York lineup: The team that produced 20 or more home runs from every spot in the batting order was out-hit in a crucial playoff game by a single Red Sox utility player.
In the aftermath of Eovaldi’s big night, he earned the continued praise of Martinez.