Red Sox Concerns Fade as They Roll Into the World Series

Ruben Hill
October 20, 2018

The Red Sox were last in the World Series when they won it all in 2013.

Given the chance, Red Sox left-hander David Price wasn't going alone to a news conference Thursday after Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

David Price was very un-postseason David Price-like as Houston never strung anything together offensively.

Price's first two starts this postseason were a disaster. He had gone 24 consecutive innings since the last time he allowed a run in an elimination start, tied with Madison Bumgarner for the longest such streak in Major League Baseball history.

Price seems to be putting it together, exorcising his playoff demons. They faced elimination games three times last fall and won them all, including a pair of wins over the Yankees in the ALCS after trailing 3-2 in the series.

In the first inning of the game Wednesday night, Jose Altuve hit a pop-up ball that looked like a home run. If you know his history against the Astros, you're not all that surprised.

On his 43rd birthday, Cora became the first manager from Puerto Rico to take a team to the World Series. Not just for their performance Thursday, but because of their lack of production for him at Minute Maid Park all year. Before his homer run in Game 5, Martinez had just one postseason home run. The team scored three runs or less eight times and four or less 11 times in 19 starts.

And it is all either mental, or the Astros really can't see with the new batter's eye in the outfield.

Verlander had pitched 24 scoreless innings over his previous three starts with his team facing postseason elimination, and he came in 4-1 with a 1.21 ERA in five potential elimination games during his career. Their only run came on a home run by Marwin Gonzalez in the seventh off Matt Barnes. Before the loss in Game 5, Verlander was 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his last 5 starts (including postseason) against the Red Sox.

Despite their outstanding record the Yankees failed to win the division once again but they did secure home-field advantage for the AL Wild Card game for the second straight season. The ball was sinking fast and likely would have been at least a two-run single to tie the game.

Price pulled him back onto his lap, repeating the words: "This is big, dude".

This Red Sox team is better still than its 108-win season suggested. This is nearly always true.

Though the Astros never faced a 3-1 deficit on their march to the 2017 World Series title, playing with their backs to the wall was not a wholly unfamiliar feeling for them.

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez hit an early homer off Verlander, and Price made the lead stand up into the late innings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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