Remember when everyone was pretty annoyed with Dave Dombrowski at the trade deadline? Everyone insisted that the Red Sox needed bullpen help. Like really needed bullpen help. But, Dombrowski didn't listen. He traded to fill in some other holes instead. Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce were added to the team to help out. A good bat off the bench, and a great tweener starter who might just help the bullpen in the playoffs. Pearce has been every bit of that, including hitting the go ahead home run in a crucial game three last night. Eovaldi got the start and the win last night. He's been the Red Sox most consistent and effective starter in the playoffs. He's even been able to help the bullpen after all. Because he took over the third starter role, Rick Porcello has been able to pitch the eighth inning in two Red Sox victories.
Oh, and the big bullpen arm that the Astros picked up? He gave up five runs, including a grand slam, after hitting consecutive batters in the eighth inning to blow the game wide open.
It's almost like Dombrowski knows what he's doing.
So the Red Sox now sit having taken back home field advantage. The pressure is now all on the Houston Astros. There are two more games in Texas, and the Red Sox really only need to win one of those to put a stranglehold on the series. The Astros are pretty much in must-win territory from here on out.
Which gives the Red Sox the luxury of having options. This is especially nice with the health questions with Chris Sale. While I prefer stomach issues to shoulder issues, neither one is great if you’re in a dire situation. But, now the Sox aren't in a terrible spot if Sale is waiting until game six, or even seven, before taking the mound. While you certainly want to win as many games as you can as soon as you can, it's nice to be able to think ahead. So it's good to be on top.
Being on top 3-1 is even better, which is why tonight's game is pretty big on its own. I can only imagine that Rick Porcello will show up huge. He's been on fire this postseason. Since the Red Sox got to Morton when they faced him earlier in the year...without Mookie...I like their chances against him tonight.
Let's see how it goes!
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