OK. That was not exactly the result we were all looking for last night. But, naturally, all is not lost. Just one game is.
I'm not even going to bother reminding you that the Indians have traditionally coughed up series leads to the Red Sox. Mostly because that doesn't really matter, but also because you already know.
What does matter? The fact that there's a reason the Red Sox were favored by most to not only win this series, but the American League itself. They're simply the better team. So, winning three out of the next four isn't nearly as daunting as it would be the other way around.
Specifics about the series as it stands? Yes the Indians won the first game. But, they ran through their bullpen. Andrew Miller shut down the Sox last night. Tonight? He may be able to face a batter. So, if the Sox can get out early, the Indians will be unable to stop them. If they don't? Not sure the Indians will be able to hold them back either.
The starting rotations still favor the Red Sox going forward. Say what you want about David Price in the postseason. But, he has pitched well before. And he's been pitching fantastic down the stretch. There's also the need to remember what ERA means. ERA is based on nine innings. So, a 9.00 ERA means a pitcher would give up nine runs in nine innings. But, Price won't be going nine innings. So, even if he stinks up the joint, and pitchers to a five or seven ERA tonight...that means he gives up fewer actual runs. For instance four runs in five innings, is a terrible start. That would work out to a 7.20 ERA. But, it would only amount to four runs. The Sox should be able to cover that. Heck, last night Porcello's stinker gave him an ERA over ten. And the Sox were right in it. So, don't worry about Price. Even your worst fears aren't all that scary when you're only looking at one game against an opposing starter who was pushed back due to injury.
After that? I know everyone likes to rag on Buchholz. But, he's been pitching wonderfully. And, it's not like Tomlin is an ace in the making. Then ERod would pitch against the guy the Sox just knocked out of the game last night. Hopefully with a less rested bullpen. Worst case? Porcello comes back in game five. Have to assume he got his stinker out of the way last night.
Yes, the Sox didn't win. The Indians bullpen gave them troubles. But, now they're done. The bullpen will never be that rested again. They'll never be that unfamiliar again. Chances are they won't be getting those strike calls again.
The Sox wanted one of the two in Cleveland so they could try to clinch at home. If they get the win tonight, that's exactly what they'll have.
And things will look even rosier.
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