And while it would be unfair for Red Sox fans to expect him to throw another one-hit complete game like he tossed against the Yankees on August 3, anything resembling that gem will likely send the Sox home after today's Game 4 in extremely high spirits.
Don't expect to see a Red Sox decision for Game 4 until Tuesday, right before game time. "He knew where we were going".
What's more evident is which side will account for more money.
It was just the fourth time in a playoff inning that the Red Sox had plated at least seven runs and the second-most runs overall Boston has scored in any playoff contest. Nor could his ability to connect with players, a skill Brian Cashman cited as a primary reason for changing managers a year ago.
Talking to WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" on Tuesday, Flaherty, a big-league catcher for 14 seasons, said Darling's assessment made sense to him. "I go (to the bullpen) 20 minutes before the game, I play catch and then I always get on the mound 10 minutes before the game".
To the extent it remains a controversy today, however, I'd say that, on the one hand, you can believe Severino if/when he says that he had his totally normal routine, assuming nothing else comes out to rebut that, because we really don't know better than he does.
8 p.m.: We're now just a few minutes away from first pitch, and it looks like everybody warmed up properly tonight. "We felt the matchup was good for him". He doesn't have great numbers against Porcello, going 4-for-32 with eight strikeouts, but two of those four hits were homers.
Nobody, not even Chris Sale, threw a better start this season for the Red Sox than Rick Porcello. Boone's career with the Yankees ended that winter, when he tore his ACL in a pickup basketball game, violating the terms of his contract, leading to his release in late February. "I don't think it's quite settled in yet".
And the Red Sox knew it. In his dozen career postseason appearances, he is 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA.
Right-handed-hitting Ian Kinsler replaced Holt at second base and right-handed Eduardo Nunez returned to third base in place of Devers against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. He came up with two outs and runners on first and second; on the 10th pitch of his at-bat against Esteban Loaiza, Ortiz smacked a single into center, scoring Damon with the winning run.
"If my pitching coach said it, you could believe it".
"He had plenty of warm-up", manager Aaron Boone said.
There were four replay challenges in the first four innings - all involving calls by first base umpire Angel Hernandez.
Whether fatigue or dead-arm played any part in Severino's less than stellar summer, Martinez's supposed declaration of an injury to the Yankees No. 1 pitcher is not only inflammatory if untrue, but insanely underhanded if indeed accurate - considering Severino credited much of his 2017 success to the Hall of Famer.
In their seven matchups this season, the Astros averaged 4.9 runs per game and the Red Sox averaged 4.4 runs per game.
Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks remained out of the lineup after missing Game 2 with tightness in his right hamstring, which forced him from the series opener Friday.
"That's probably just something they do when they win", the manager said. 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. In his three previous playoff starts - 1998 ALCS, 1998 World Series, 1999 ALDS - the right-hander had allowed just one run and 11 hits in 22 innings, for a tidy 0.41 ERA.