The Red Sox-Yankees ALDS showdown is one of the most anticipated playoff series this fall, and for good reason. In the first inning of Game 1, Boston slugger J.D. Martinez fueled the hype even further after he unloaded a three-run homer off of the Yankees’ J.A. Happ.
The ball — a 2-0 heater that topped out around 93 MPH — hurtled 374 feet out to the first row of seats atop the Green Monster to give the Red Sox an early 3-0 lead. It was the first postseason home run Martinez had collected since Game 1 of the 2017 NLDS, when he bested the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw with a solo home run, and the first Happ had given up since Game 2 of the 2016 ALCS.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the Red Sox returned in the third inning to pad their lead as Steve Pearce drove in another run against New York righty Chad Green and Xander Bogaerts followed up with a sac fly. They have yet to surrender a single run behind Chris Sale, who is working on a one-hitter after three scoreless innings of two-walk, five-strikeout ball. Boston currently leads 5-0 in the fourth.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.