The game was essentially already over when the New York Yankees sent catcher Austin Romine to the mound in the ninth inning of Monday's blowout Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
While they were just playing out the string and preserving the bullpen, Brock Holt had history to make.
Holt launched a two-run homer into the right-field stands to cap off the scoring in the Boston Red Sox's overwhelming 16-1 victory at Yankee Stadium. In doing so, he became the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit for the cycle in a playoff game, per MLB Stat of the Day.
He said it was the first time he attempted to go deep in his career, but his success suggests he should have tried it in the past:
It highlighted a record-breaking performance from the offense. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Boston set the all-time record for runs scored against the Bronx Bombers in a playoff contest (previously held by the Arizona Diamondbacks with 15 in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series) and its own franchise record for runs scored in a postseason game.
Much of Boston's damage came in a seven-run fourth inning, which Holt appropriately started off with a single. He added a two-run triple later in the frame to break open the game at 10-0.
His double was also of the RBI variety and came in the eighth inning.
The offensive explosion was notable for the Red Sox, but it was also a continuation of what they did throughout the season. They led the league in runs scored and feature MVP candidates in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez alongside impressive contributors such as Holt.
Perhaps more importantly in terms of their World Series fortunes, the Red Sox received a notable pitching performance from a starter other than Chris Sale. That remains an October concern since David Price sports a 5.28 playoff ERA and Rick Porcello's checks in at 5.33, but Nathan Eovaldi threw a gem with one earned run and five hits allowed in seven innings.
It is not difficult to envision the Red Sox winning the World Series if Eovaldi continues to pitch like that in support of Sale and Holt continues to hit like he did Monday in support of Betts and Martinez.