Friday, 16 November, 2018

Cora: Red Sox must get Alex Bregman off the plate

Joe West hit ball Red Sox catcher plunks umpire Joe West with errant throw to second
Herman Weaver | 15 October, 2018, 05:25

Here are a few random thoughts on the Red Sox 7-2 Game 1 ALCS loss to the Astros Saturday night at Fenway Park. Benintendi was not happy about the strike call that got Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander out of a jam with runners on second and third.

With Jake Marisnick attempting to steal second base in the top of the eighth inning, Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez fired a throw that tailed away from second baseman Brock Holt and directly into the right shoulder of frequently reviled umpire Joe West. Reporters say he had words for home plate umpire James Hoye and then ran onto the field and let Joe West have it following his ejection.

The end result also was misleading given that the Astros added four runs on a pair of ninth-inning homers, the first extra-base hits of a weird night at the grand but glum old ballpark. Three of them and one of his two wild pitches came in a fifth inning that nearly chased him from the game.

For a matchup of the two best teams in baseball, ALCS Game 1 was an unexpectedly messy affair. By the time it made its way back into the vicinity of the infield, the Astros were already standing atop a two-run lead.

Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel added insurance in the ninth with home runs off Brandon Workman.

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He wasn't wrong as the Red Sox had next to no offence (just three hits), were sloppy defensively (sound familiar, Jays fans?) and saw pitchers combined to allow 10 walks and hit three batters.

Judged exclusively by the early innings of the boxscore from Saturday's opener of the best-of-seven ALCS, the game unfolded pretty much as billed. The last Astros player to safely hit in at least 10 postseason games was former outfielder/infielder Lance Berkman, who set the record with an RBI double and solo home run during the Astros' campaign in the 2004 NLCS.

"Alex told me before we even got off the field that night" that he would get another start, Price said before the game. To be able to get out of that inning and keep us tied that was to me, the ballgame.

Red Sox: Is Game 2 a must-win for 108-win Red Sox? They can be beaten but the Sox need to hit, pitch and defend with stark consistency throughout the series to have a chance at knocking off the champs.

- Finally, I'm not a betting man, but if I were I'd put a lot of money on David Price to pitch well in Game 2. Price just doesn't win in the postseason.

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