Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Friday on WEEI Radio in Boston that Sale would start Game 1 of the World Series. Suddenly, those bullpen guys that I feared were going send our 2018 season to its disastrous doom started getting outs.
Those 108 regular season victories were more than enough to win their third straight AL East title, but the vulnerability of the bullpen was on full display in the month of September.
ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr., outfielder Mookie Betts and the Red Sox will try to bring Boston its fourth crown in 15 years - this is their first trip since winning it all in 2013. The Sox won the best-of-seven series and await the victor of the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The only real problem the Red Sox have had in this postseason is Craig Kimbrel, their normally dominant closer.
"Yeah I'll get a couple more throwing days in", he said.
David Price saw the big picture when he came to Boston prior to the 2016 season.
He has a career 1.67 ERA in 30 games when starting with extra rest.
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Manager Dave Roberts says he isn't thinking about Kershaw's future with the team. He had initially been one of the Brewers' best, but fell victim to injuries.
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"Just had a stomach thing", he said.
Gonzalez homered off Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes in the seventh inning before Game 3 victor Nathan Eovaldi emerged from the bullpen to stifle that rally.
"Since Day One, we knew we had something special. I'll take it. I'll take it", Cora said (backslash). "We just needed to stay healthy and go out and execute", Bradley said. "But it's one of the things where I'm past it, and I'm here because of my struggles and because of my pain that I went through there", he said.
Correa got better late in the series and had three hits in Game 4 but admitted before the series that his back hurt so bad sometimes that it was hard to walk.
The Red Sox claimed the final four games of the series by punishing the Astros' stellar pitching with an endless string of quality plate appearances.
Price (1-0) worked around a two-out single by Altuve in the first inning and a leadoff single by Yuli Gurriel in the second. Their only run came on a home run by Marwin Gonzalez in the seventh off Matt Barnes. Mitch Moreland lifted a towering fly to left that a leaping Tony Kemp couldn't catch in front of the Crawford Boxes, a double that had just a four percent hit probability off the bat.