Eovaldi to start Game 3 instead of Porcello

08 October, 2018, 20:08 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
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Three days before his scheduled start against the New York Yankees, Rick Porcello walked out to the Boston Red Sox bullpen and took a seat. If you're a Red Sox fan, that's gotta hurt. Luis Severino, coming off four scoreless innings in the wild-card game against Oakland, starts for NY and former Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi pitches for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox need the real Mookie Betts (1-for-7) to show up, Ian Kinsler (8 at-bats, 5 strikeouts) to wake up and everyone else help wear down NY starter Luis Severino. And using him as a reliever must be a tantalizing possibility for the Red Sox, given their thin bullpen and Price's success in a relief role last fall. "He didn't make pitches". We trust his stuff.

There could be three more games left in this American League Division Series. Yet the Bombers captured a pivotal Game 2, stealing home field advantage in the process, courtesy of Sanchez, who rewarded the Yankees' unwavering faith in him with a breakout offensive performance.

Just a few feet away from that spot is a plaque noting that only the six home runs in the 106-year history of Fenway Park have cleared the back wall on the other side of the flagpole.

Between home runs, Sanchez got into a spat with Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier over Sanchez's repeated attempts at stepping out of the batter's box during his fifth-inning at-bat. Signed to a seven-year $217 million before the 2016 season - which made him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball - he has alternated between brilliant and terrible, with most of the latter example coming in his biggest starts. Price's teams have never won a playoff game (0-10) when he has started even though he holds a 143-75 regular season record with a 3.25 ERA. He had been open with the media in recent weeks, perhaps to a fault, about how important this October would be to the mission of redirecting the narrative arc of his career.

If everyone at Fenway on Friday night was checking the radar-gun readout to gauge the health of Chris Sale's shoulder, on Saturday night they were checking Price's face to gauge his confidence level. The early signs were not promising. Betances and Zach Britton combined for a scoreless eighth, and Aroldis Chapman subbed in to close out the ninth with a leadoff walk to Steve Pearce, a three-pitch strikeout to Eduardo Nunez, and Kinsler's game-ending double play to secure the 6-2 win.

NY is built for Yankee Stadium, where it takes advantage of the short right-field porch and hit 144 of its record 267 home runs. Ian Kinsler plated another run for Boston on a one-out double off of Dellin Betances in the bottom of the seventh, but the right-hander managed to squeeze out of the inning without doing any additional damage to the Yankees' lead. He enters this game having allowed just one run in 16 innings against them since being traded from the Rays in July.

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"I didn't know until I finally spoke to Severino that Severino wasn't totally healthy, and they could not afford to stop him from pitching, " Martinez said on the show. "Me watching from afar past year, especially in the postseason, you could kind of see that raw intensity connection that the fan base had with the players". "And that's something I wasn't able to do tonight".

Luis Severino finished the regular season strong, with three straight solid starts, then followed that up with four-plus shutout innings in the Yankees' wild-card victory over the A's.

And it almost happened that way.

Then in the second inning, Gary Sanchez, a man with a lot to prove this October hit the first of his two moon shots on the night. According to Statcast, it was the longest measured home run ever at the historic venue.

With four more years and $127 million left on Price contract - he has an opt-out clause, but is unlikely to exercise it - there is plenty of time to debate whether his acute postseason woes are some sort of character flaw, such as a sheer inability to handle the pressure, or a random fluke of statistics and small sample sizes. He has one more chance to get his act together against a team that is obviously in his head.

"My spirits aren't down", he said. I want to win a World Series. "I felt like we did that", Cole said.



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