It will be all about the narrative when the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers meet in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday.
The pitching narrative that is.
That’s because the Red Sox have shockingly named David Price their starting pitcher in the potential series clincher. The 32-year-old left-hander will take the ball against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in a battle of pitchers who entered these playoffs labeled as postseason disappointments but have done a terrific job changing the headlines.
That Price is being trusted in such a big spot wasn’t even thinkable three weeks ago. That he’s being selected to start over Chris Sale, the potential American League Cy Young award winner, shows how far he’s come in a short time.
With that said, it sounds like Cora’s decision is just as much strategic than anything else.
In explaining decision to start Price over Sale being related to NL Park, #RedSox Cora indicted Price could go just a couple innings and be hit for – “not an opener” but maybe similar
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 28, 2018
A brief outing could seemingly put Price in play for Game 6 or Game 7 if it’s needed in Boston.
Price has definitely adapted well to being used in different slots this postseason.
In Game 2, Price went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits while securing his second win of the 2018 playoffs. He also won the Red Sox pennant clincher against the Houston Astros, which was his first postseason win in 10 starts. During Friday’s Game 3 marathon, Price recorded two outs in the ninth inning. Two outs that may have cemented Cora’s faith in him.
To that end, Sale hasn’t been his usual self either his last two outings. Immediately after Game 1 of the ALCS he was hospitalized with a stomach ailment that prevented him from pitching again in that series. Sale lasted just four innings in Game 1 of the World Series.
The Red Sox have a commanding 3-1 series lead after winning Game 4 on Saturday. That gives them some flexibility to mix and match as they see fit.
Sale would be in line to start Game 6 at Fenway Park on Tuesday if that game is necessary.
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