The Boston Red Sox will hope to turn things around in game of the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, down 0-2 as they head to Fenway Park for the first time in the postseason.
Despite their red hot batting during the regular season, the Red Sox have struggled figuring out the Indians pitching. It was the bullpen giving them trouble in game 1, while in game 2, it was an overall systems failure, finishing with just 3 hits, unable to find a way around Corey Kluber.
Previous game: The Indians won 6-0, which included Corey Kluber on the mound for 7 scoreless innings (striking out 7) and allowing just 3 hits, the only 3 hits the Red Sox had in the game. Meanwhile, David Price didn’t make it through the fourth inning, giving up five runs, including a 3-run homer by Lonnie Chisenhall. There was less talk about management decisions and the bullpen from the Indians side, because the game was over by the time they had to use their relievers.
Starting pitchers: Josh Tomlin is coming off a season with a 4.40 ERA through a career high 174 innings. He did allow just one walk per nine innings, the best in the American League, and his SO/BB ratio remains a very good 5.90. He pitched once vs the Red Sox, back in August, delivering 7 innings in a 3-2 loss. He’s actually done rather well in his career against Red Sox pitchers. While holding David Ortiz to a .176 batting average, he has given up 3 home runs to him in 17 at bats.
Clay Buchholz will start for the Red Sox, which might suggest how short their rotation situation was, considering he was dropped to the bullpen and brought back during the season. A player who usually follows a good season with a so-so one, Buchholz had a good second half to the season. He pitched twice against the Indians, both losses, but both games came before the beginning of summer. He’s done rather well in his career against the current crop of Indians hitters.
Hot bats: For Boston, Brock Holt with 4 hits in the series so far is probably the only player the Red Sox can be happy with how he’s performers. For Cleveland? Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez and Roberto Perez are all batting .400 or better in the two games, including one home run each for Kipnis and Perez.