The Red Sox have selected right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to kick off Game 3 of the ALDS on Monday night, per a team announcement. While fellow righty Rick Porcello was originally slated to handle Game 3, he was utilized out of the bullpen during Game 1 and will receive an extra day of rest before taking the mound for a potential series clinch in Game 4. Additional comments from manager Alex Cora indicated that his selection for Game 4 might still be subject to some revision, however, especially if the team ends up needing Porcello to pitch out of the bullpen and lock down another win during Game 3.
Eovaldi, 28, was acquired by the Red Sox in a swap for Rays’ minor league pitcher Jalen Beeks just before the July deadline. Through 11 starts in Boston, he worked up to a 3-3 record with a 3.33 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 in 54 innings. This figures to be the first postseason start of his seven-year career to date, and one that might see him extend the current 16-inning scoreless streak he has going against the Yankees this year.
The Yankees, meanwhile, will trot out right-hander Luis Severino when the series returns to New York on Monday night. The 24-year-old righty led the team to a 7-2 Wild Card victory on Wednesday after posting four innings of two-hit, seven-strikeout ball against the Athletics and will look for his second career win in the playoffs when Game 3 kicks off at 7:40 PM EDT on Monday.
Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).
Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.
Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.
Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.