"There's no doubt the crowd had an effect on the game", added Carlos Beltran while speaking to SI.com's Tom Verducci following New York's come-from-behind win on Game 4 of last year's ALCS. Hardly seems possible, right? The truth more likely lies with the old baseball adage, attributed to longtime manager Earl Weaver, that momentum is as good as the next day's starting pitcher. Signed to a seven-year $217 million before the 2016 season - which made him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball - he has alternated between brilliant and very bad, with most of the latter example coming in his biggest starts.
Judge homered for the third straight playoff game, a 445-foot shot that landed in the back row of seats above the Green Monster, high above the 379-foot marker and about 10 feet to the left of the pole flying an American flag blowing straight out.
There's a big, fun reveal coming in a minute. I want to win a World Series. The first game of any series, here, establishes the momentum, but does not reflect whether momentum helped a team.
"I mean, everybody knows that Judge has way more power than me", Sanchez said, speaking through an interpreter. David Price was the wild card.
Why he's here: Ortiz never gets the chance to play superstar without the guy who had exactly zero at-bats for the Red Sox in the series.
Only 21 of those games happened in the postseason.
Given that the ALDS is only a best-of-five series, Boston won't need Price to start again versus the Yankees. The Yankees have certainly victimized other pitchers this season, but an inordinate number of them, nine in the regular season and two more Saturday night, have come against Price, in just 17 1/3 innings combined. The Yankees, he said, "make it tough for me, and knowing that, you have to go out there and execute pitches in big spots". Mathematician Leonard Mlodinow's well-reasoned claim - documented in this space countless times - is that it would require a best-of-269-game series to prove one Major League Baseball team capable of beating another one 55% of the time.
The team announced the decision on Sunday.
My math, again, is imperfect.
There's a ton of subjectivity in play here, too.
Down quickly 3-0 to the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, any whisper of faith Red Sox fans had in their No. 2 starter blew away in the October wind as quickly as Aaron Judge's blast in the top of the first.
"I think the connection that our fan base and our fans now have with our players is a special one, and now you put it in the postseason, and you bring the Red Sox, who, obviously, that rivalry that's there and as great of a team as they were this season, I think the atmosphere (in Game 3) is going to be special, electric, whatever you want to put on it". I remember their faces, aghast, when the Sox tied the game against Rivera in the ninth. "He's been able to do that so far in the postseason, limiting the mistakes". The former Red Sox infielder was there in the flesh, sitting on the bench in the visitor's dugout, helping guide the Houston Astros through the Bronx and into the World Series.