After taking Game One in a 5-4 win over the New Yankees on Friday night, the Red Sox looked to go up two games in this American League Division Series with another victory at Fenway Park on Saturday.
Making his first start of this postseason, David Price looked to expel his October demons with a quality outing last night, but a las, could not a get the job done once again.
Pitching into just the second inning of this one, the left-hander got hit hard for three earned on three hits and two walks all while failing to record a single strikeout.
Similar to a start he made against New York on September 19th in which he served up three home runs, the home run ball was again not Price’s friend yesterday.
Right from the get go, the Tennessee native was greeted by Aaron Judge with one out in the top half of the first, and he made his presence felt by mashing his second home run of the series to put his team up by one early.
An inning later, Gary Sanchez, who hit .667 off of Price over the course of the regular season, hit his first of two long balls on the night to lead off the second.
Following two consecutive two out walks and an Andrew McCutchen RBI single in the same frame, Price’s night would come to a disappointing close with Aaron Judge due up next for the Yankees.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 42 (24 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler threw 12 four-seam fastballs, 12 two-seam fastballs, 10 changeups, and eight cutters. He also topped out at 95.2 MPH with that four-seamer in the second inning.
Dropping to 0-1 yet again, this is but another disappointing addition to Price’s playoff resume.
Since joining the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season, the Vanderbilt alum has tossed 11.2 postseason innings over four games, two of which were starts. In that span, he owns a 6.17 ERA, an 0-2 record, and an .853 OPS against. Over the course of his career, just take a look at this tweet.
To be paid as much as Price is being paid and consistently perform like he did on Saturday is far from ideal.
As for whether or not his number two starter will move to the bullpen, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, ” He’s one of our starters. Just a bad outing [Saturday]. It just so happened it wasn’t his day. He didn’t make pitches. We trust him. He’s bounced back before. We’ll talk to him to make a few adjustments. And we’ll go from there.”
In relief of Price, the majority of the Red Sox bullpen, outside of Eduardo Rodriguez, actually held their own in this one.
Joe Kelly got the first call with two outs in the second and runners on the corners, and he escaped the early jam by getting Aaron Judge to line out to right field.
After two additional scoreless frames from Kelly, it was Ryan Brasier’s turn for the second consecutive night to begin the fourth, and he looked much better in a clean inning compared to how he performed on Friday.
In addition to the solid scoreless inning of relief, Brasier also had his “rivalry” moment by yelling at Gary Sanchez to get back in the batter’s box after stepping away from the plate for the umpteenth time of the at bat.
From that point on, Brandon Workman and Eduardo Rodriguez combined to work a scoreless sixth inning, but this contest would get away from the Red Sox in the top of the seventh, when with one out and runners on first and third, Rodriguez could not sneak a 2-1 fastball over the heart of the plate with Gary Sanchez up to bat, and the Yankees catcher sent it 479 feet over everything in left field.
That big fly, Sanchez’s second of the night, made it a 6-1 game, and New York would not have to look back on their way to a series-evening win.
It’s also worth noting that Heath Hembree, who was added to Boston’s ALDS roster in place of Steven Wright prior to Saturday’s game, was responsible for the final two innings, and despite walking three, did not allow a run to cross the plate.
So, given the circumstances of David Price failing to make it out of the second inning, I would chalk this up as a win for the Red Sox bullpen, outside of the three-run homer Eduardo Rodriguez gave up, of course.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who pitched to a tune of a 6.52 ERA in two starts at Fenway Park this regular season.
Like Friday, runs were hard to come by for Boston, and they could not get anything going until their half of the fourth.
Already trailing by three runs, Xander Bogaerts delivered with one out in the inning by demolishing the first pitch he saw from Tanaka 411 feet to center field for his second career postseason home run. 3-1 New York.
Fast forward to the bottom half of the seventh, now trailing by five runs, and Ian Kinsler came through with the only other RBI knock from a Red Sox hitter on a hard hit RBI double off of Dellin Betances to plate Mitch Moreland all the way from first and make it a 6-2 game which would go on to be the final score.
Unfortunately, Moreland came up grabbing his right hamstring as he was rounding third on the play, and he would have to be replaced by Steve Pearce at first a half inning later.
According to Alex Cora, Sunday’s treatment at Yankee Stadium will determine if Moreland, who was diagnosed with right hamstring tightness, is ready for Game Three, but he will not be removed from the ALDS roster.
After a day off in New York on Sunday, the Red Sox will look to once again go up a game in this tightly contested division series on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
It was just announced that Nathan Eovaldi, not Rick Porcello, will get the start for Boston on Monday.
Eovaldi, who has yet to pitch in this series, posted a 1.93 ERA over four starts, both with the Tampa Bay Rays and Red Sox, against the Yankees this season.
Opposite Eovaldi will be another right-hander for the Yankees in the form of the flame throwing Luis Severino, who tossed four scoreless innings in his last time out against the Oakland Athletics, which helped lift his club to another American League Wild Card win.
First pitch of the third game of the series is scheduled for 7:40 ET Monday on TBS. Maybe Brock Holt and Rafael Devers will play.