While Nathan Eovaldi, at the behest of old school manager Bruce Bochy, was mowing down three consecutive batters with the bases loaded in Game 2 of the ALCS in Houston, Red Sox icon Peter Gammons was fuming.
Eovaldi is known mainly in Boston for the 2018 World Series ring he earned through gumption, soaking up a ridiculous six extra innings of relief in an eventual Game 3 loss, setting up the bullpen to thrive in Games 4 and 5 (both victories) in the process. His Wakefield-ian display of guts has become the enduring memory of that series, erasing Max Muncy's walk-off from existence.
Eovaldi's playoff gusto was on display again Monday, of course, when he helped pilot the Rangers to a 2-0 ALCS lead, wriggling out of that world-class jam in the middle innings (and striking out Jose Altuve for Out No. 2). The 33-year-old righty is no slouch during the regular season, either, making the All-Star team this year while fighting forearm issues. When October arrives, though, his heart grows three sizes. He views the MLB Playoffs like Christmas for a reformed Grinch.
That's what stood out to Peter Gammons, who watched Eovaldi's Game 2 outing wistfully, accusing the analytically-driven Red Sox of discounting the fight in the dog before letting him walk this offseason.
Peter Gammons wants Nathan Eovaldi's back on the Red Sox
To be fair -- to be fair -- Gammons was emotional. Baseball is an emotional game. Eovaldi's heater, which ticks up when it matters most (I blame ghosts!), evokes emotion, whether he's captured a World Series for your franchise or not. He recently watched another front office executive execute ownership's mandate, then be fired for doing so. He's currently watching Dave Dombrowski, exiled from Boston after a 108-win championship season, doing the same damn thing in Philadelphia.
In reality, though, the Red Sox tried to re-sign Eovaldi this offseason, but when the righty circled back, they were out of money.
This is a separate grievance topic -- the Red Sox were out of $34 million for two years?! -- but that's another, non-computer-based story.
At least Eovaldi won Gammons a title. Yankees fans -- yes, back to us! -- are the ones who should really be infuriated here.
New York had Eovaldi in their grasp in 2015 and 2016, prior to his Tommy John surgery, but couldn't unlock him. They, too, were in on the righty prior to signing Carlos Rodón. He could've been their "something more." He wasn't. And now this.
Shut up, computers. Eat a memory card.