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All hands on deck for Game 3

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With the Sox up against the wall and an extra day of rest in hand, they’ll have insurance behind Clay Buchholz Monday night.

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

Obviously when it comes to an elimination game there can be no pulling punches. If the Red Sox do not use player A, B, or C tonight, there’s no guarantee they’ll get a chance to tomorrow.

This is more important in Game 3 than usual, though. Typically at least one player would be more-or-less off limits: the Game 4 starter. And in a situation like this where it’s so unclear which Clay Buchholz is going to take the mound and whether Eduardo Rodriguez would give them a better chance to win, that matters.

But that’s in a normal Game 3 situation. We’re not really facing that tonight. The rain has pushed everything back a day. If the Red Sox give them the chance, Rick Porcello can pitch Game 4, and David Price Game 5. We were always going to see two starts from Corey Kluber—this is no great boon for Cleveland—but the Red Sox now only have to expose the softer underbelly of their rotation for the one game.

And in that one game? They can use both guys. If Buchholz is in trouble early, Rodriguez can be called on to take over without really disrupting the Sox’ larger plans in the interest of actually getting them to the point where said larger plans come into play. This isn’t even a Showalter/Britton situation where there’s some sense that using Rodriguez here will prevent them from using him later. It’s just hard to imagine the Red Sox will not take advantage of an opportunity to get both of Price and Porcello a second start if the series goes to five.

Of course, the net outcome of this beyond the ability to use Rodriguez tonight is that the Red Sox get two starts out of David Price instead of one should this get to Game 5. Yay!

Yay?

I sense a lack of enthusiasm.

Price’s first start was, undeniably, a disaster. He has vowed to do better, and said that he expects he’ll get the chance to pitch again before the year is over. Well, yesterday’s rainout may just give him that opportunity against the very team that crushed him on Friday. Red Sox fans would love to see him have the opportunity...but more because it would mean the Sox made it to Game 5 than because they made it to Game 5 with a chance to put the ball in the “ace’s” hand.