Craig Kimbrel’s path to closing out the American League Division Series got off to a dangerous start before he even left the bullpen.
With the Boston Red Sox leading the host New York Yankees 4-1 before the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, a fan in the stands threw a beer can toward Kimbrel, who was heading out of the bullpen toward the field.
The can just missed hitting the right-handed reliever, landing a few feet away as a New York police officer arrived to push the reliever out of harm’s way.
Kimbrel, who finished with 42 saves during the regular season, went on to struggle in the bottom of the ninth, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks before closing the door on the Yankees’ season.
The Red Sox won the game 4-3 and the best-of-five series 3-1 to advance to the AL Championship Series, where they will face the defending champion Houston Astros beginning Saturday in Boston.
During the AL wild-card game last week, another Yankees fan dumped a beer on an Oakland A’s fan at Yankee Stadium. And the home team won that night.
—Field Level Media