David Price has a chance to put a good deal of disappointment to bed Friday afternoon as he tries to get the Red Sox even with the Indians.
|BOSTON RED SOX||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Rajai Davis, CF|
|Brock Holt, 3B||Jason Kipnis, 2B|
|Mookie Betts, RF||Francisco Lindor, SS|
|David Ortiz, DH||Mike Napoli, 1B|
|Hanley Ramirez, 1B||Carlos Santana, DH|
|Xander Bogaerts, SS||Jose Ramirez, 3B|
|Andrew Benintendi, LF||Brandon Guyer, LF|
|Sandy Leon, C||Lonnie Chisenhall, RF|
|Jackie Bradley Jr., CF||Roberto Perez, C|
|SP - David Price||SP - Corey Kluber|
Much of the importance of Game 1 was its ability to take the importance away from Games 2 and 5, when Corey Kluber was set to take the mound in Cleveland. If the Sox had taken advantage of their apparent pitching mismatch, they wouldn’t have to worry too much about Price being able to live up to his ace billing.
But here we are, down 0-1, and in serious need of a win to avoid entering a stretch of (if we’re lucky) three straight must-win games. And while coming into the season this was absolutely where the Sox would’ve wanted Price above all others, things haven’t really turned out as expected. Price now stands at a serious crossroads. This is his one opportunity to pitch in this series. A big performance tonight would go a long way towards ameliorating his disappointing regular season, particularly if it comes with a win.
But there’s certainly no promises that even, say, eight shutout would earn that win. Corey Kluber, after all, is the bogey man in Cleveland’s battered rotation. He hasn’t pitched since September 26th, and may or may not actually be at 100%, so the Sox have that going for them. But with the Cleveland bullpen heavily taxed in last night’s game, Kluber is the exact guy who can mitigate whatever damage was done there and get the Indians to Boston both well-rested and up 2-0.
In the lineup itself, we get the bump up for Andrew Benintendi that was very much necessary, though he still hasn’t leapfrogged Xander Bogaerts to get into the middle third. Brock Holt remains second but...well, John Farrell’s Jonny Gomes Devil Magic seems to be in full effect, so we could hardly expect that to change.
First pitch is at 4:38 p.m. ET with broadcasts on TBS and WEEI.