Preview: Red Sox at Dodgers
The Boston Red Sox took the first two games of the World Series at home in impressive fashion and are hoping to ride the wave of momentum all the way across the country. The Red Sox will try to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven set when they visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 3 on Friday.
“We played two good games,” Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters. “(Wednesday’s 4-2 victory was) a tough one. They pitched well. We put some good at-bats. We pitched extremely well. David (Price) was amazing. And then the bullpen did what they’ve been doing during October and now we’re up 2-0.” Cora is using starting pitchers in the late innings to help bridge the gap to closer Craig Kimbrel and got a scoreless inning out of right-hander Nathan Eovaldi in each of the first two games, leaving right-hander Rick Porcello available to start Game 3 opposite Dodgers phenom Walker Buehler. Los Angeles’ hitters struck out a total of 20 times in the first two games and the bullpen failed to come through when it mattered. “We’ve got to find a way to win a baseball game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters. “I think coming in here I thought we played these guys pretty straight up. Obviously, we come out of here going home down 2-0. But they made pitches when they needed to. And when we stressed them, they made the pitch. And then when it flipped, they got the hit, and we didn’t.”
TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (1-0, 4.22 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Walker Buehler (0-1, 5.40)
Porcello was roughed up a bit in his American League Championship Series start at Houston on Oct. 17, surrendering four runs on seven hits – two homers – in four innings. The New Jersey native allowed one run in a total of 6 2/3 innings over his first three postseason appearances (one start). Porcello is 22-8 with a 4.11 ERA in 41 career interleague games and could end up being of help with the bat after going 3-for-7 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs during the regular season.
Buehler was knocked around a bit in his first two postseason starts but stepped up in Game 7 of the NLCS and struck out seven while allowing one run over 4 2/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. The 24-year-old Vanderbilt product held hitters to a .193 batting average during the regular season while striking out 151 in 137 1/3 innings. Buehler, who is facing Boston for the first time, posted a 1.93 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) at Dodger Stadium during the regular season.
1. The Red Sox are 17-for-41 with 31 RBIs with runners in scoring position and two outs during the postseason.
2. Dodgers 1B/3B David Freese is 5-for-8 in his last three games.
3. The last team to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the World Series was the 1996 New York Yankees.