|10.09.16 at 7:43 pm ET|
“It was strange because Pom comes down there and I’m figuring he needs six outs to get ready, or wondering how long it’s going to take,” said Red Sox bullpen coach Dana LeVangie of Pomeranz’s first appearance as a reliever, on the final day of the regular season. “But obviously he was used to this situation. He was ready in less than 10 pitches.
“He basically told me, ‘Hey, you guys have to stop babying me. I’m used to this.'”
But Pomeranz — who has appeared out of the bullpen in 59 of his 138 major league outings — may be more the exception than the norm.
With the Red Sox staving off elimination in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, there is a very real possibility that both starters David Price and/or Eduardo Rodriguez would be used as relievers. (This is assuming the Sox choose to go with Rick Porcello as their Game 4 starter, if needed.)
If the situation does present itself, it would mean that four pitchers who have spent extended time in the Red Sox’ rotation this season — Joe Kelly, Pomeranz, Price and Rodriguez — will be watching at least part of Game 3 in the Fenway Park home bullpen.
It’s not out the ordinary by any means, with 2013 starters John Lackey and Ryan Dempster both spending time out of the Red Sox’ bullpen during that postseason run. And Price came on to throw three innings of relief for the Blue Jays in Game 4 of their ALDS series last season.
But for pitchers like Rodriguez, who has never served a reliever as a member of the Red Sox, there is a process to acclimating himself to the role.
“I don’t think I would ever tell them what to do, but I would always want to get a sense for that given day when John might use these options so I can lead them into preparation, stretching. Some might not all be the same,” LeVangie explained. “Some might be used later in the game, some might be used shorter.
“Everyone is going to be different, but I think more than anything most guys can get their heaters ready and they can work off of that. I think the environment kind of gets them geared up sooner rather than later.”
Adrenaline and guidance will have to do. When it comes to preparing for the all-hands-on-deck scenario, there isn’t time for much else.
“It’s a different challenge for them, but those guys, most of them are so competitive that it’s not a problem,” LeVangie said. “And the environment feeds into them getting ready.”
“I just do whatever they want,” Rodriguez said. “If it’s going to be in the bullpen or starting, I’ll do whatever they need me to do.”
|10.09.16 at 6:48 pm ET|
The shortstop did manage a single in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, but he is still just 1-for-8 with four strikeouts in the two games against the Indians. Bogaerts simply hasn’t been the same kind of presence the Sox had become used.
With that in mind, it would be fair to at least inquire if Bogaerts was dealing with any kind of physical issue after playing 159 games this season. So?
“Now, I feel good,” Bogaerts told WEEI.com Sunday afternoon. “I don’t have any problems. We’ve had a lot of time off, in between games. So I feel rested. Physically, I feel really good.”
The only noticeable injury the shortstop has sustained this season came on April 23 in Houston when Bogaerts was hit in the right wrist by a Luke Gregerson pitch.
The 24-year-old did lead all major league shortstops with 719 plate appearances, finishing up hitting .294 with an .802 OPS.
During a late June series in Texas, Bogaerts did admit to being tired. Since that statement Bogaerts has managed just a .249 batting average with a .721 OPS. Yet, the shortstop insisted Sunday fatigue was also not an issue.
“I’ve been past it,” said Bogaerts of the midseason exhaustion. “Physically, I feel really good. I feel good. I feel fresh and ready to go.”
Bogaerts is optimistic the tide will turn when Game 3 rolls around, in part because of his, and his team’s, return to Fenway Park. At home this season, the righty hitter has been appreciably more effective, hitting .323 with an .889 OPS.
“I’m just trying to slow down the game. Timing is starting to come back slowly,” Bogaerts said. “Hopefully playing here will help a lot. This is our home. I feel good about it.”
|10.09.16 at 6:10 pm ET|
Down 2-0 in the best-of-five American League Division Series to the Indians, the Red Sox are banking on coming home, getting an extra day of rest thanks to Sunday’s postponement, and even a reintroduction to their canines as reasons for optimism.
That’s right, pets.
“Not that the hotel beds are uncomfortable or anything like that. There’s something to be said for getting to hang out with your family and your pets,” said Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler. “We’ve got guys with animals on this team, they go home and play with their dogs all evening. It’s allows you to relax a little more as opposed to feeling cooped up in a hotel room.”
As Ziegler explained, there was an undeniable feeling among the Red Sox that pushing back Game 3 until Monday should work in the favor of the hosts.
Coming off two games in Cleveland in which the Red Sox hitters were held to a .200 batting average, while striking out times, anything to slow down Terry Francona’s club momentum was considered a good thing.
“Maybe it gets Cleveland out of their rhythm a little bit,” Ziegler said. “They were in a pretty good hitting rhythm for the first couple of games. Bottom line, for us, all of our guys get to hang out for a day with their family and another day to relax and watch some football.”
Through it all, one thing that was perfectly clear by the time word came down that there would be no game Sunday was that the anger and frustration which was present with the Red Sox after Friday’s loss was a thing of the past.
“We’ll be good to go,” Ziegler said. “Whatever they need us for, we’re all pretty sitting there thinking Clay is going to go out and throw eight shutout innings tomorrow and we’ll be just fine.”
|10.09.16 at 1:56 pm ET|
Sunday’s Game 3 between the Red Sox and Indians has officially been postponed due to rain.
It has been rescheduled for Monday at 6:08 p.m. Tickets for Game 3 will be honored for the game. Clay Buchholz will start for the Red Sox.
Game 4 will be played Tuesday with a time to be announced.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|10.09.16 at 12:39 pm ET|
If the Red Sox and Indians play Sunday, it will be a similar lineup to Games 1 and 2.
With it raining much of the morning and the forecast calls for it to continue throughout the day, the game may not be played after all.
If the game is played, Andrew Benintendi will bat seventh, while Jackie Bradley Jr. will bat ninth.
Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
Here’s the complete Red Sox lineup:
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Brock Holt, 3B
Mookie Betts, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Sandy Leon, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Clay Buchholz, RHP
|10.08.16 at 6:55 pm ET|
Clay Buchholz is no stranger to pitching in Game 3 of an ALDS with his team trailing 0-2.
In 2009, the Red Sox trailed the Angels 0-2 and Buchholz got the ball in Game 3. The right-handed pitched well, allowing two runs on six hits in five innings, while walking one and striking out three. He took a no-decision, but the Red Sox lost 7-6, ending their season.
Buchholz, who has the most postseason experience of any Red Sox starter, will rely on the past to help him get through Sunday.
“It’s a baseball game,” Buchholz said. “Like I said, it’s on a little bit bigger stage, but you’ve still got to go out and do the small things that you’re capable of doing, and that’s making pitches whenever they are called upon. You’ve got to minimize the damage.
“I think that’s the biggest key in post-season is whenever some bad situations present themselves, you’ve got to know how to minimize them or get a ground ball when you need it. When you do that, I think that adds to your team coming back in the dugout, to get back in the box and score some runs.”
It’s been an up-and-down year for Buchholz to say the least. He’s gone back-and-forth between the rotation and the bullpen both because of his own performance and due to injuries to other starters.
Buchholz has been in the rotation for the past month or so and has pitched his best baseball of the season. Over his last five starts, he’s 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA.
The right-hander also has enjoyed some postseason success of late. The Red Sox have won each of his last three postseason starts, most recently Game 3 of the 2013 World Series.
It seems only fitting he gets the ball in a must-win game.
“Everybody goes through some struggles at some point at the end of the year,” Buchholz said. “You know, mine were a little bit more extreme than others, but that being said, you know, we’re all here to win games; to play for a championship, and whenever things are going wrong, especially in this atmosphere, this environment, this organization, you’re expected to be really good every time out, and sometimes that can pile up on you.”
“I thought in my mind I would be on the mound in a deciding game, as well,” added Buchholz. “It was a little far-fetched at one point this year, but you know, I’m still here. So I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Manager John Farrell also noted Buchholz’s up-and-down season and was quick to note his resurgence of late, even going as far to say it could be the right-hander’s best stretch of his whole career.
“He’s been very consistent over the past probably six to eight weeks,” Farrell said. “He’s had a resurgence of his own right inside this season. So I don’t think anyone has watched as closely — can fully appreciate all that he’s been through this year, from someone that needed a little bit of a breather from the rotation, worked out some issues while going to the bullpen and has returned and pitching some of the best baseball, I think, in his career.”
Best stretch of his career or not, the Red Sox just need him to be good on Sunday to keep the season going.
|10.08.16 at 6:21 pm ET|
The Red Sox can’t hold anything back now.
The team enters Sunday trailing the Indians 0-2 in the best-of-five series and are one loss away from their season being over.
Clay Buchholz will start Game 3, but if there is a Game 4 on Monday, Eduardo Rodriguez could be replaced in the rotation by Game 1 starter Rick Porcello on three days rest.
“We’ll take it game-to-game,” manager John Farrell said. “We’ve obviously used [Drew] Pomeranz out of the bullpen. I wouldn’t limit not using David Price out of the bullpen. That’s certainly a possibility.
“So again, you go back to all hands on deck. You figure it out as you go. But there’s certainly a starting plan tomorrow, and that’s with Clay.”
Porcello threw 72 pitches Thursday, so that would help his cause with coming back on three days rest. If there was an opportunity for Price to come out of the bullpen, it helps that he only threw 65 pitches on Friday.
When deciding on a potential Game 4 starter, it’s worth noting the splits of both Porcello and Rodriguez. Porcello is 13-1 with a 2.97 ERA at Fenway Park this year, while Rodriguez was 0-4 in nine starts with a 6.02 ERA. If there were to be a Game 5 in that scenario, it would seem likely Price would get the nod on normal rest, assuming he doesn’t come out of the bullpen in any of the games at Fenway.
Even though the Red Sox are struggling offensively in the series so far — 13-for-65 (.200) with 22 strikeouts — Farrell doesn’t expect any big changes. It’s also worth noting Game 2 marked only the eighth time in 164 games they didn’t get an extra-base hit.
“Haven’t looked at there being any wholesale changes, no,” Farrell said
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— In the clubhouse, a few members of the team added more detail of the team meeting the team had prior to their workout on the field. The biggest message seemed to be to forget what happened in Cleveland.
“Just that we have to put everything past us and try to start new tomorrow, and win one game,” Mookie Betts said. “We can’t look too far ahead of ourselves.”
“It was everybody,” Betts added. “We all had a message, we all listened to the message and I think we’ll put everything into play tomorrow.”
— Three of the Red Sox’ youngest players have struggled so far in the series, as Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are a combined 2-for-20 with 10 strikeouts.
“It could be nerves,” Betts said. “It’s a lot of guys’ first times in the playoffs, but now we’re two games in. We kind of have settled in. I think we know what we need to do.”
— The Red Sox are hoping returning home will help give them a jump start that they desperately need.
The team is 26-13 in postseason games at Fenway since 1999 and 10-3 in ALDS play. During the regular season, the Red Sox led the AL in runs scored per game at home with 5.89 and also in batting average, hitting .300 at Fenway.
“It’s just good to be back in Boston,” Holt said. “We love playing here. Cleveland showed us what home field advantage can do, so we’re hoping to have that here. It was a good meeting. Just talked about the last couple of days and putting them behind us.”
|10.08.16 at 4:28 pm ET|
About 24 hours before Game 3 the Red Sox held a team meeting at Fenway Park.
Trailing the Indians 0-2 in a best-of-five series, the Red Sox are one loss away from their season being over. The last thing they want is to be swept.
To get things back on the right track, the team held a meeting Saturday afternoon (players and coaches) with the general message being not to forget what the team accomplished during the season and to start playing like they did over the course of the season. They want to erase the past two games from their minds.
“I think what was discussed a little bit ago was just don’t forget about who we are,” manager John Farrell said. “Don’t forget who you are individually and certainly, what we’ve been as a team. That is where there is a lot of recent history that gives us confidence going into tomorrow.”
Added Clay Buchholz: “It was more of a players meeting. Obviously all the staff was in there, but it was basically a meeting to tell everybody in the clubhouse — the young guys, the veterans that it isn’t about the last two games. Forget about them. Not to worry 24-48 hours ago. That isn’t going to help you moving forward. That was probably the biggest message. Go out and be ourselves. We’re the Boston Red Sox. We know what baseball is about. Our front office and ownership have put a really good team on the field. Up until this point we’ve been a really good baseball team. We won the best division in baseball this year as well. I think that was probably the biggest point, to not forget who we are and play the game.”
The Red Sox have won three of the last six postseason series in which they lost the first two games and in order for it to happen again, it’s going to be because of the team as a whole, not one individual.
“The biggest thing is we have accomplished and experienced everything as a group, everything as a team,” Farrell said. “What we’ve won has been as a team and nights that we don’t, we lose as a team. That meeting included all of us. We’re in this together. We’re in this point being 0-2 not because of one person, area of our team, but collectively. It is going to require that contribution from our group as well to regain some momentum and reverse this. That was something — I think on the flight back last night I’m sure we all shared some similar thoughts individually, and felt it was important to bring those together and not reflect on what has been. We can’t go back there, but yet remain committed on tomorrow.”
|10.07.16 at 9:58 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — David Ortiz was in no mood to talk after the Red Sox’ 6-0 loss to the Indians early Friday evening.
Ultimately, Ortiz did spend just more than a minute with the assembled media in the visitors clubhouse at Progressive Field, but the designated hitter couldn’t hide the frustration when asked about his current state.
“Should I be happy?” he said. Ortiz then added, “We’re getting our [expletive] beat. Nothing to celebrate.”
Immediately after the Red Sox found themselves in their 2-0 hole in the best-of-five American League Division Series, reality set in. Ortiz, and his team, was one loss from seeing their run come to a crashing halt.
“It’s part of the game, man, but I know we’re better than that,” he said. “Just got to come and play better.” (To read more about the loss, click here.)
Just before Ortiz spoke, the other veteran leader on the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, echoed a similar refrain. The second baseman went so far as to suggest his club had lost its identity. It was the same sort of message Ortiz had given in the same clubhouse when the Sox found themselves down 3-1 in their 2007 best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
“Obviously they played better than us,” Pedroia said. “I think coming into this series we have a lot of guys the last couple of games. I think, coming into this series, we had a lot of guys the last couple of games feeling it out, everybody. Me included. I think we lost who we are – we’re the Boston Red Sox. We need to go out there and play the game. We should dictate the tempo of the game and how everything should be played. The last couple of days, they did that and we didn’t. We have to get to our workout tomorrow and play by pitch by pitch, I don’t know what day it is, but the next game and that’s all we can do right now.”
|10.07.16 at 9:47 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — David Price’s shot at postseason redemption must wait — maybe until next October.
The Red Sox left-hander, mystifyingly winless in eight postseason starts entering Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday, delivered perhaps the worst playoff outing in a career full of them.
Price last just 3 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs, giving the Red Sox no chance against fellow Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who shut them out for seven innings in Cleveland’s 6-0 victory that pushed the Red Sox to the brink of elimination.
“It’s coming,” Price said. “I know my number’s going to get called again to pitch a game in 2016, and I’ll be ready. I want it, for sure, and I know these guys will give it to me.”
If only there were a reason to feel confident. Say what you want about Price’s miserable record as a postseason starter entering the game (0-7, 5.27), but he had given his teams at least six innings in each of his eight previous playoff starts.
In not escaping the fourth against the Indians, however, Price saw his postseason ERA as a starter climb to 5.74.
“Just, made some pitches, didn’t have good things happen,” Price said. “That’s part of it. Those guys are playing well right now. Our confidence isn’t altered. This is a very confident group, even though we’re down 0-2 right now. This team has been there before. We’re all right.”
But is Price? He was asked about the mounting frustration of constantly answering questions about his postseason failures.
“I have two wins in the postseason, just not as a starter,” Price said. “But I know good things are coming to me in October baseball. I know that. I didn’t have good things happen today. The Indians are playing well. Kluber threw the ball extremely well today. They had good things happen. That’s part of it.”
Price gave up three relatively soft hits in the second to give the Indians a 1-0 lead before Lonnie Chisenhall, who hadn’t homered against a left-handed pitcher all year, pulverized one off the plexiglass in right field for a three-run homer that blew the game open and deflated the Red Sox.
“Two of the best pitches I felt like I threw in the second inning, one was an infield single and one was a three-run home run,” Price said. “That’s part of it. It stinks to say it. It stinks to have it happen. But I feel good. I know this team is still confident. I’m still confident in these guys. I know that everybody in this clubhouse is still confident. We’re going home, where we play well. Get that first one.”
As things stand now, Price is slated to start Game 5. But on Friday, he helped reduce the odds of the Red Sox even lasting that long.
“Yeah, that stunk, for sure,” Price said. “I’ll be ready. When my number is called again, I’ll be ready to go out there and get outs.”
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