October 7, 2016

ALDS 2: Cleveland 6, Red Sox 0

Red Sox   - 000 000 000 - 0  3  1
Cleveland - 040 101 00x - 6  9  0
David Price's postseason misfortunes continued (3.1-6-5-2-3, 65), but even if Price had allowed only one run over eight innings, the Red Sox still would have lost. (Price has allowed at least five runs in five of his nine career postseason starts (and three of his last four, and four of his last six).)

Boston's bats were ice cold against Corey Kluber (7-3-0-3-7, 104) and two relievers. Cleveland has done everything right in this series. They have taken full advantage of any and all mistakes, and their advance scouting reports on the Red Sox could not be more accurate. The Red Sox hitters have been silenced while their top two starters were hit for five runs each.

Boston managed only three singles (coming in the first, fifth, and sixth innings), while working three walks and having one batter hit by a pitch. The Red Sox advanced a runner past first base only two times all afternoon.

Game 3 of the ALDS will be at Fenway Park on Sunday at 4 PM. It could be the final game of David Ortiz's career.

Price needed only eight pitches to get Cleveland in order in the first and he got the first batter in the second. Then Carlos Santana singled to left. Jose Ramirez reached first on an infield chopper than Brock Holt could not get a handle on. Brandon Guyer then flared a single out beyond shortstop into short left-center to score Santana with the first run of the day. After the two cheap hits, Lonnie Chisenhall lined a 2-1 pitch to right field for a three-run homer. Cleveland led 4-0 and it wasn't until Price walked Roberto Perez - the fifth straight Cleveland batter to reach base - that Carl Willis came out for a mound visit and John Farrell got on the bullpen phone. Matt Barnes began warming up. Price rebounded and got the next two batters.

Price allowed a one-out single in the third, then struck out the next two. He gave up a leadoff single in the fourth and when he issued a one-out walk, Farrell came out with his hook. Barnes allowed a run-scoring single to Jason Kipnis and was also responsible for the run that scored in the sixth.

On the Red Sox side, Holt singled with one out in the first and was erased when Mookie Betts grounded into a double play. Kluber walked Dustin Pedroia and Betts in the fourth, but Boston could do nothing with the gifts, as David Ortiz popped to shortstop and Hanley Ramirez was called out on strikes.

Xander Bogaerts singled to lead off the fifth and was stranded there as Andrew Benintendi lined to right, Sandy Leon popped to short, and Jackie Bradley struck out. Betts singled with two outs in the sixth, bit Ortiz lined to right.

Boston's last attempt at a rally came in the eighth. Kluber walked Leon and plunked Bradley. Dan Otero came in and struck out Pedroia on three pitches, got Holt to line to center, and had Betts ground into a fielder's choice out at third.

The season now rests on the shoulders of Game 3 starter Clay Buchholz. If the Red Sox can win on Sunday afternoon, Rick Porcello may pitch Game 4.

Fifty-three teams have won the first two games of a best-of-five ALDS and 46 gone to win the series. The Red Sox have two of the seven comebacks from 0-2 (1999 and 2003).
David Price / Corey Kluber
Pedroia, 2B
Holt, 3B
Betts, RF
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Benintendi, LF
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
Okay, here's the plan. Price brings his "A" game and the hitters stop swinging at every piece of garbage that is even remotely in their vicinity, we win and go home tied 1-1. Even with more than half of the lineup looking like shit, and getting three of their four runs on solo dongs, the Red Sox still lost Game 1 by only one run.

Terry Francona managed like Game 1 was a must-win (and with Trevor Bauer starting, maybe it was), but he's probably burned both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen for tonight; they both threw 40 pitches last night. Meanwhile, John Farrell has Matt Barnes, Brad Ziegler and Craig Kimbrel rested and ready.

SoSH's Ian York shows what the Red Sox can expect from Corey Kluber.
Kluber's favorite pitch is his sinker, which he throws about 38% of the time. ... When he is ahead in the count, he uses his curve more often; when behind, he is more likely to throw a slider. ... Kluber's curve and slider are both significantly better than average ... His changeup is also well above average, probably partly due to the surprise factor.

His four-seam fastball and sinker both grade out about average ... His curve and slider both target the bottom of the strike zone. His change is typically thrown below the zone, often drawing swings in spite of that. His fastballs tend to be toward the middle of the zone in height, but often targeting the edges in unpredictable ways ...
In two of his last four starts of the regular season, Price allowed five and six runs (both games were against the Yankees). Price faced Cleveland only once this year, on Opening Day: 6-5-2-2-10. Kluber was opposite Price back on April 5 (5.1-9-4-2-5) and he also faced Boston on May 20 (7-5-2-2-6).

Even though Kluber suffered a quadriceps strain in late September, he's still Cleveland's ace - his 3.14 ERA was 4th in the AL and he led the league in ERA+ - and Price needs to be sharp, or the Red Sox could be in serious trouble.


allan said...

TBS sucked. (And was sometimes humourous.)

Ron Darling makes everything he says sound both ominous and utterly important and, like the insufferable Rick Sutcliffe, every player is the world's best at something. At one point last night, Darling said he had spoken to umpires about batters' check swings and he said umps decide whether a batter has swung at a pitch by judging his "intention". So the umpires read minds? How would that work on other calls? Did that runner "intend" to beat the throw on that infield grounder? Did the outfielder "intend" to catch that fly ball in the gap? Was it the pitcher's "intention" to throw strike 3?

Was TBS' overt cheering for Cleveland last night and disinterest in the Red Sox because the game was in Cleveland? Will they root for the Red Sox when the series shifts to Boston? Or was it because Cleveland is an underdog in the series? Whatever the reason, it was obvious and embarrassing.

Also, during the Blue Jays' 10-1 rout of the Rangers, TBS's Joe Simpson noted late in the game that the Blue Jays players were showing some "class" by not taking an extra bases on a wild pitch or passed ball in the last innings. They simply stayed at first and did not advance. I don't think Simpson understands the concept of sportsmanship. I'd be furious if any Red Sox players did this. Again, would it be "classy" for the Jays to strike out on purpose? Or to run into outs on the bases? This is akin to when (in 2003) a former Boston manager actually apologized to the opposing manager because the Red Sox scored so many runs in one game.

I'd like to think Toronto manager John Gibbons had a little sitdown with those baserunners and explained that a benching would be in their future if they pulled any more crazy stupid shit like that in a fucking postseason game, but I doubt he did.

FenFan said...

...and the day after Boston "embarrassed" that team, they lost after blowing a substantial lead. I know this too well because I attended that loss.

You keeping scoring runs until the final out has been called. Period.

FenFan said...

TBS made me wish that I was still listening to O'Brien and Remy calling the game

Maxwell Horse said...

I know WEEI and the sports media are usually full of shit with their false outrage and always trying to manufacture soap opera stories out of nothing. However, they're playing a quote from David Price (I guess from last night, after the loss) which is legitimately ridiculous in its lack of self-awareness.

When asked if he feels pressure to win Game 2 given the huge contract and the circumstances, Price said not really. He says that he cared more last year when he was going into free-agency. I really can't think of a positive, benign way to interpret that quote. It's like something a character with absolutely no filter would say in a sitcom.

tim said...

Another beauty from TBS last night:


allan said...

Price saying he doesn't feel pressure is okay. Then he should say some bland shit about doing his best and "executing pitches" and whatnot. Not caring is a different thing, though.

I remember Manny got a ton of shit in 2007 when he was said it would not be the end of the world if the Red Sox lost the ALCS to Cleveland. It was just the right thing to say, though, taking the pressure off. And the Sox came back from 1-3 to win the pennant.

allan said...


"I'm going to bring my best [Friday]. That's how I am. And I’m pretty sure my teammates will, too, so see you manana."

"It's so frustrating facing Miller because it seems like every pitch is a strike. I got two strikes – not one of those pitches was a strike. They were down in the zone. That's the second time it happened to me with him."

allan said...

That pitch that got away in the 9th did not look good enough for Hernandez to run to third. I didn't see it as a bad move at the time.

allan said...

DEADSPIN: "Terry Francona Demonstrates How To Manage A Playoff Bullpen"

allan said...

Tito was in full Playoff Assassin Mode in the 5th inning. That does not bode well for us. At all. The Red Sox bats have to take control of these game so Francona is never in a position where he can outmanage us.

When Farrell put in Pomeranz, it felt like he was thinking, "Terry put in a lefty, so I guess I should do that, too."

allan said...

The team that wins Game 1 has gone on to win 84 of 120 best-of-5 series in baseball history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That's 70%.

Game 1 was the second time in Cleveland history that the team had at least three home runs in an inning in a postseason game. In Game 3 of the 1998 ALCS, three Indians homered off the Yankees' Andy Pettitte in the fifth inning - Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, and Mark Whiten. On the opposing side, Porcello is the first pitcher in Red Sox history to allow three home runs in an inning in a postseason game.

Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor are the first middle-infield duo in major-league history to hit back-to-back homers in a postseason game. There were six such combos to do so in the 2016 regular season, most recently Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts on July 31.

Maxwell Horse said...

I guess the problem I had with it was his inclusion of last year as his high-point in caring. The implication being that he cared more about getting a big contract/money than he currently cares about living up to his current contract. It's quite possible he was trying to pull a Manny and put himself in a relaxed mindset for tonight, but it just came out horribly wrong.

allan said...

It does sound bad, I'll admit. Is it in print anywhere?

Maxwell Horse said...

I don't know if it's in print. They had played a sound clip on the radio. It sounded like it was Nick Cafardo's voice that asked him the question.

allan said...

Scott Lauber, ESPN Staff Writer:
"David Ortiz was as angry after a game as he has been all year. "Should I be happy?" he said. "We're getting our asses beat.""

allan said...

Scott Lauber, ESPN Staff Writer:
"Dustin Pedroia both candid ("We lost who we are as the Boston Red Sox" over past week) and defiant ("It's not over; you have to beat us three times, not twice")"

allan said...

The Red Sox are the only team in postseason history to win multiple 5-game series after trailing 0-2 (1999 ALDS, 2003 ALDS).

laura k said...

He says that he cared more last year when he was going into free-agency.

OMFG! You have to be an idiot, really. Think for a milisecond before you speak, so this does not come out.

laura k said...

It's going to be hard to outmanage Playoff Assassin Tito. We know that.

It's time to break out DLUWT. (Well, tomorrow night.)