|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.”
|10.07.16 at 9:04 pm ET|
The team that won 11 games in a row in late September bears no resemblance to the one which has now lost two straight in the American League Division Series to the Indians at Progressive Field.
Some want to suggest that the way the Red Sox played the last two series of the season, five of their last six regular season games, led them to this point. Their manager would disagree.
“No, we had a chance to regroup, as everyone does going into the postseason,” Farrell said after his team’s 6-0 loss to the Indians, Friday. “I thought we came in prepared. We understood what was ahead of us. We fought [Thursday] night despite the number of maybe swing-and-miss to some of the at-bats, and weren’t able to cash in on some opportunities.
“But to link this back to the final week of the regular season, I wouldn’t go that far.”
Since the end of their 11-game winning streak, the Red Sox are now 1-7, having scored just 21 runs, hitting .199 with a .619 OPS. Their starting pitchers have totaled a 5.53 ERA over the eight games, going more than six innings just once.
“Backs against the wall,” said Farrell, whose team will send out Clay Buchholz for the Game 3 start Sunday. “It’s pretty clear what lies ahead of us. We go home down 0-2. Buchholz on the mound Sunday with an attitude of no tomorrow.”
|10.07.16 at 7:58 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — This was a disaster.
The idea that the Red Sox’ American League Division Series Game 1 loss at Progressive Field was simply an opportunity for John Farrell’s team to get it’s postseason feet wet went out the window in a hurry in Friday afternoon. Instead the Sox ended up drowning, and are heading back to Fenway Park one loss away from elimination because of it.
Everything that could have gone wrong in the Red Sox’ 6-0 loss to the Indians pretty much did, starting with the performance of starting pitcher David Price.
Price lasted just 3 1/3 innings and 65 pitches, allowing five runs while watching postseason ERA as a starter climb to 5.74 in nine outings. He gave way to reliever Matt Barnes with two runners aboard.
The Red Sox’ lefty allowed six hits, none bigger than Lonnie Chisenhall’s three-run home run in the second inning. The line-drive over the right field wall gave the Indians a four-run lead after just two innings, which proved more than enough for Cleveland starter Corey Kluber.
That leads us to the other major problem for the Red Sox, their offense.
Kluber, who hadn’t thrown more than 60 pitches since Sept. 21 due to a hamstring issue, dominated the Sox bats. The former Cy Young Award winner gave up just three hits over seven innings, striking out seven. The righty left with two on and nobody out in the eighth inning.
|10.07.16 at 6:22 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — This certainly didn’t do anything to help the narrative that followed David Price to Boston.
The Red Sox lefty lasted just 3 1/3 innings against the Indians in his ALDS Game 2 start Friday afternoon, giving way to Matt Barnes with one out in the fourth inning and two runners on (one of which would score).
Price finished his day allowing five runs, pushing his career postseason ERA to 5.54. He has a 5.74 ERA in his nine starts in the playoffs.
Price finished his day allowing six hits, with Lonnie Chisenhall’s second-inning, three-run homer over the right field wall serving as the costliest.
The outing comes one day after Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox trailed 5-0 after four innings.
|10.07.16 at 5:28 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — If things had broken a little differently in the 2008 draft, Lonnie Chisenhall might’ve been hitting a three-run homer for the Red Sox in Friday’s ALDS Game 2 instead of against them, as he just did off of left-hander David Price to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.
The Red Sox were so confident they’d nab Chisenhall with the 30th pick in that draft that they had already cleared the selection with owner John Henry when fate intervened in the form of the Cleveland Indians, picking 29th.
A couple of years ago in my Boston Herald days, Cubs assistant GM Jason McLeod, the former Red Sox scouting director, shared the story of what went wrong.
“He was our guy,” McLeod said. “He was at Fenway the day before the draft. We asked if he thought any other team was on him, and he said no.
“So we’re in the draft room, and the team two picks in front of us (Yankees) selects (Gerrit Cole). John Henry’s in there. We’ve got Chisenhall’s name out and we’re telling him that’s who we’re going to pick, giving him the quick background, the trouble he got into at South Carolina [for robbing a dorm room], and all of that.
“As we’re telling him this, the Cleveland Indians leave their mic open on accident, and Jed [Hoyer], the one who’s going to announce our pick, overhears them saying they’re going to take Chisenhall.
“Meanwhile, Theo (Epstein) and I are outside telling John Henry we’re taking Chisenhall, and Jed comes running out of the room. ‘The Indians are taking Chisenhall right now!’ And we’re like, ‘What? You’ve got to be kidding me!’
“So we run out. Who are we taking now? Who are we taking? The highest upside guy on the board is Casey Kelley. And I’m like, ‘John, OK here, listen. It’s a two-sport guy, it’s going to take $3 million dollars, and we can spread the money out.
“It literally happened in the span of a minute and a half that we took Casey Kelly, because Lonnie Chisenhall was our pick.”
The Red Sox didn’t regret that pick for long, because Kelly helped them bring slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. But after watching Chisenhall take David Price deep on Friday, there are undoubtedly some regrets over the one that got away — or certainly where he landed, anyway.
|10.07.16 at 4:55 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Commissioner Rob Manfred remains surprised at the stir he caused in Boston last week when he questioned David Ortiz’s inclusion on the infamous 2003 performance-enhancing drug list.
Speaking in Cleveland before the Indians and Red Sox played Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Manfred stood by his words and lamented the destruction of the samples that could’ve been used to prove Ortiz’s innocence.
“Let me say a couple of things about what happened in Boston,” Manfred said. “First of all, it was one of those instances where I know I was not breaking new ground. As a matter of fact, we put out a statement at the time of the original story in the New York Times that contained all of the factual information that I relied on when I spoke in Boston.
“My friend Michael Weiner [the late union head] did a press conference with David, said exactly the same things that I said up in Boston. I don’t know whether I had a captive audience or I had a particularly articulate day that day, but it seemed like it attracted a lot of attention.
“But I did not regard it to be a fundamental shift in what baseball’s position was with respect to those survey tests.”
Ortiz’s name was included on a list of supposedly anonymous samples that were supposed to be used to see if baseball could meet a minimum threshold of failed tests needed to trigger a full testing program the following year. When that threshold was easily met, the samples were supposed to be destroyed.
Manfred admitted there was “clearly a window” between the tests being taken and results being questioned. The Times story, however, was published in 2009.
“I think the problem with that in retrospect is this, we — and the ‘we’ in that sentence is baseball and the MLBPA — were fundamentally committed to the idea that those survey test results were supposed to be anonymous. So the window where we could’ve gone back and done some retesting or elimination of ambiguity was at a period of time that we fervently hoped that the commitment that was originally made to the players that they would stay private or confidential would be met.”
|10.07.16 at 3:58 pm ET|
CLEVELAND – Major League Baseball has announced that if there is a Game 4 in the American League Division Series between the Red Sox and Indians it will start at 6:08 pm at Fenway Park on Monday.
MLB released the possible start times for a potential Game 5, which would be slated for either 6:08 pm or 8:08 pm on Wednesday. That game would be in Cleveland.
|10.07.16 at 2:44 pm ET|
Because Rick Porcello only threw 72 pitches in his Game 1 start Thursday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell has left the door open to pitch the Sox ace Monday in the American League Division Series if the game is needed. Right now, Eduardo Rodriguez is slated to get that start.
“It’s going to be dependent upon what we do out of our bullpen,” Farrell said prior to Friday afternoon’s Game 2. “For instance, if there was a scenario that Eddie Rodriguez ends up pitching out of the bullpen, the fact that Rick went the number of pitches he did, it presents him as a potential option, depending on what takes place.”
The Indians have already committed to bringing back Trevor Bauer as the Game 4 starter, if needed.
– The Red Sox manager did notice the Game 1 atmosphere having an affect on some of his players who hadn’t experienced the postseason before.
“I think the first game of the postseason, there’s a little anxiety waiting around,” Farrell said. “And you combine it with an 8 o’clock start which even when we feel an 8 o’clock start on a Sunday during the regular season, there’s a different feel to it. The fact that we had three days down, a late-night start or a later start, five guys in our lineup being their first postseason. Yeah, there were some things that were firsts and I’m sure that lent to … we faced far too many pitches yesterday. Below the zone and above the zone. Hopefully today after a game under our belt we’re back in the flow of things and back in the rhythm of things and we’re most consistent with our approach.”
– After taking another look at the ball that bounced in front of Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez with Hanley Ramirez at the plate in the eighth inning Thursday night, Farrell supported the decision by pinch-runner Marco Hernandez not to make a run at taking third base with one out.
“That’s’ a tough read,” Farrell said. “When that carom goes directly out where he doesn’t have kind of the peripheral to gauge on the distance, being the tying run, you’ve got to be 100 percent sure in your mind. And if there’s any hesitation with the way that Perez throws, you’ve got to play it safely in that spot. For sure, Hanley is swinging the bat as good as anyone. In that scenario, your first reaction is, because of the dugout, we have the side angle. Our first reaction is you’re thinking go. He’s got a completely different angle.”
– Farrell was truly impressed by the work turned in by Pomeranz in Game 1, so much so that he is already eyeing possibly using him in a similar manner if the opportunity presents itself Sunday.
“I thought he was very good,” said Farrell in regards to the lefty, who struck out five over 2 1/3 innings. “He maintained his stuff in his time on the mound. We’re hopeful after two days he’s available for something close to that again when we get into Game 3. It’s comforting to know that he has so much relief experience in his background. We’ve got a reliever who is stretched out, is how I look at it in the moment.”
Farrell also noted that the forearm soreness Pomeranz was dealing with isn’t currently a concern. “As long as we stay in that 45-50 pitch as a maximum, that physical is well under control,” he said.
– Farrell offered some insight on Xander Bogaerts’ struggles at the plate, which most recently an 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 1.
“It’s been a situation where I think he’s maybe chased some pitches,” the manager said. “I think that was pretty evident [Thursday] night. Breaking balls down below the zone or off the plate. And I think he’s committed to some pitches early, that’s where he’s maybe addressed some fastballs and maybe not having the best pitch recognition that he’s shown previously. So the one thing that we have to do is continue to get him in a place where he’s prepared and ready. And then trust his abilities once the game begins.”
– Farrell admitted that, prior to Ortiz’s eighth-inning double, it appeared as though the regular season’s demands had caught up to the retiring designated hitter a bit.
“The yearlong tour had grown, and maybe had worn on him somewhat, physically,” Farrell said. “Hopefully [Thursday] night’s final at-bat was a sign of things to come here. We need him.”
– Cleveland manager Terry Francona that as effective as Andrew Miller and Cody Allen were Thursday night, things didn’t go exactly as planned. And it was the Red Sox’ lineup that caused the curveball, according to Francona.
“Believe me, that isn’t the way we drew it up,” the Indians skipper said. “I wanted Andrew to come in and turn the lineup over. I didn’t want it to be 40 pitches. And the same thing with Cody. I wanted Cody to get the last five, but not that long. They make you work so hard and that’s part of why they’re so good.”
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