David Price could be used out of the bullpen at Fenway Park. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)
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.”