The Red Sox and Dodgers fought back and forth all night last night, in what was ultimately a Red Sox 8-4 win in game 1. Tonight they’re right back at it in a chilly Fenway Park for game 2. It’s another battle of the lefties in a game that gets underway at 8:09 ET.
Red Sox Starter
The Red Sox go with a pitcher who can all of a sudden stand much taller due to the removal of a massive load off his back. David Price, after failing to do so in his first 11 career playoff starts, got the win in his last start in the deciding game against the Astros. So now, instead of the chatter around his Postseason start being about exorcising his demons, it now turns to whether he can repeat what was a pretty dominant outing. In that start in Houston, Price went 6 shutout innings, surrendering just a double and a pair of singles.
Even with that great start the last time out, Price’s numbers do not look good this Postseason. In 3 starts total, he is 1-0 with a 5.11 ERA, pitching just 12.1 innings. He has allowed 7 runs on 11 hits, but the big numbers that jump out are 6 walks and 3 home runs, both numbers that translate to rate stats being over twice as high as his career numbers.
The Dodgers counter with their own pitcher who has had a mixed bag of effectiveness this October. In game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Hyun-Jin Ryu was magnificent, throwing 7 shutout innings with 4 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts. His second time out, in game 2 of the NLCS against the Brewers, he held them to just 2 runs on 4 hits, but was limited to 4.1 innings, and allowed 6 hits with just 4 strikeouts. Then came game 6 of the NLCS, a potential clincher for the Dodgers, where Ryu got rocked very solidly. He went just 3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, striking out 3 while also issuing his first 2 walks of the Postseason.
In total, that all shakes out to a 1-1 record with a 4.40 over his 3 starts. Those numbers pale in comparison to his impressive 15 start sample from the regular season for the Dodgers, where he went 7-3 with a 1.98 ERA. The good news is that the walk prevention is still there, and he has allowed just 1 home run while striking out 15 in his 14.2 innings. So if the Dodgers were looking for some solace, his FIP is probably really good in the playoffs.
Since we’re seeing a second straight day of a battle of lefties, I would imagine that the lineups will be much the same, with maybe a couple changes on the Red Sox side.
From yesterday’s game preview, with assistance from MLB.com’s preview yesterday, with a couple tweaks:
1. Chris Taylor, LF
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. David Freese, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Matt Kemp, DH
6. Brian Dozier, 2B
7. Cody Bellinger, CF
8. Yasiel Puig, RF
9. Austin Barnes, C
Austin Barnes looked good behind the plate for the most part last night, blocking most of the pitches in the dirt. He did allow a tough first pitch dirt ball from Ryan Madson get by, although that one was very clearly a wild pitch. Yasmani Grandal came in later to pinch hit for David Freese, and surprisingly remained in the game at catcher, and didn’t look completely lost back there.
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. J.D. Martinez, DH
4. Xander Bogaerts, SS
5. Steve Pearce, 1B
6. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
7. Ian Kinsler, 2B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Eduardo Nunez started the game on the bench last night, but was brought in as a pinch hitter later in the night and had the game’s big hit, a 3-run home run to break things open for the Red Sox. I can’t imagine that he’ll be on the bench in this one.
Sandy Leon drew the start behind the plate yesterday, but I would imagine that it is Christian Vazquez who gets to don the tools of ignorance in this one, as the Red Sox seem to alternate between the two and keep them fresh.
Find the Link
Find the link between Price and the 2016 World Series’ most lovable character, David Ross.