After a pair of very long games yesterday, that were both very close save for the 9th inning in Boston, we move into day 3 of the Championship Series. The Dodgers and Brewers, having split the first 2 games in Milwaukee, are on a travel day to Los Angeles, although they probably got there yesterday.
The Astros and Red Sox still get to play today. The Astros took game 1 last night in a 7-2 win that wasn’t that much of a blowout on the scoreboard until the 9th, but the way the Red Sox were pitching, it felt like it should have been a lot worse. Red Sox pitchers walked 10 batters, and also hit another 3, which is an absurd amount of free baserunners. Considering the Astros got home runs from Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick, scoring only 7 runs seems like a bit of a letdown given all the free baserunners.
So today we move into game 2 of the ALCS, as the Astros try to take 2 on the road in Boston before heading home. They have looked like the strongest, most complete team in the Postseason thus far, and they seem to be firing on all cylinders pretty well right now.
Red Sox Starter
The Red Sox will be hoping for David Price to flip the narrative of being a bad Postseason pitcher. That stance isn’t unfounded by any means, as through 18 career playoff games, he is 2-9 with a 5.28 ERA. And if you’d like to take the narrative to its fullest extreme, in 10 Postseason starts, Price is 0-9 with a 6.03 ERA.
Not only are the Red Sox going to be hoping he does well, they are going to need him to pitch deep in this game too. The Red Sox bullpen has been heavily worked so far, and even though there’s a day off tomorrow, you would have to imagine Alex Cora would not want to run out more than 2 or 3 of his relievers tonight. I’m sure ideally for him, Price goes 6 or 7, Brasier comes in to get through 8 and then Kimbrel finishes it.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. Most definitely Price needs to pitch exceptionally well here to avoid going back to Houston down 2-0.
The biggest trade acquisition of last offseason gets to go for the Astros, as Gerrit Cole will be making his second start of this Postseason. He absolutely dominated in his last one, going 7 innings while allowing 1 run on 3 hits, walking none and striking out 12. The strikeouts, at least at this volume, are a new feature for Cole, who struck out more than a batter per inning for the first time in his career, and actually got his K rate all the way up to 12.40 per 9 innings. Here is a wonderful breakdown of his 2018 strikeouts:
Gerrit Cole has 288 strikeouts on the season including playoffs... He had a career high 276 during the regular season. Here's a breakdown of all of them pic.twitter.com/yW8dzJfjni— Daren Willman (@darenw) October 14, 2018
The need for Cole to go deep for the Astros isn’t nearly as strong, especially because Verlander went 6 strong innings last night, followed by 3 quick and easy relief innings. The Astros relievers have pitched the fewest innings of the 4 remaining teams, and it isn’t particularly close.
It'll be interesting to see how postseason plays out. Innings pitched by relievers so far:— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 14, 2018
Brewers 25 2/3 IP in 5 Gs
Dodgers 20 1/3 IP in 6 Gs
Red Sox 22 IP in 5 Gs
Astros 12 2/3 IP in 4 Gs
Find the Link
Find the link between Price and Cole (and Carlos Correa too!) (Sorry DYTH, I couldn’t find any information about Cole having a dog, so no Astro the dog link today).