By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Much like Game 1 of the World Series, things teetered a bit between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers for about half of Game 2 – but once the Red Sox took a multi-run lead, that was it.
The clear hero of the night is one David Price, who pitched the game of his life for the second time in as many starts. The lefty is finally realizing his always-sky-high potential as a postseason starter at the perfect time, battling to hold the Dodgers to two runs over six solid innings. The bullpen did amazing work from there, including another dominant inning from Joe Kelly and more power from “setup man” Nathan Eovaldi. And it sure looks like we’ve got the old Craig Kimbrel back, folks.
Anyway, here are some quick-hit thoughts to take to bed after a great win for the Red Sox, who are now two wins away from their fourth World Series championship since 2004.
— The Price is right, bitch! What postseason demons? Price deserves a load of credit for getting out of a shaky fourth inning, and he was sharp otherwise. If the Red Sox can close the deal on this World Series, David Price will have erased all of his October failures. The duck-flapping-its-legs moments will become a very distant memory. That might even be the case if the Dodgers somehow come back and win. One thing’s certain, though. If you officially gave up on Price as a postseason pitcher after his disastrous start against the Yankees, you’ve made a mistake.
— Bullpen dominates again. It’s becoming the sneaky-biggest development in this entire postseason for the Red Sox. Middle relief, and even Craig Kimbrel at times, was the team’s only glaring flaw during the regular season. In October, it’s become a weapon. Joe Kelly looks like a righty Billy Wagner out there. Nathan Eovaldi is one hell of a hybrid starter/eighth-inning power arm. And it looks like Craig Kimbrel’s issues, whether they were tipping pitches or not, have been resolved. This series so far is what happens when an already-stacked team sews up its only potentially fatal flaw.
— Big bats come through. It’s been a quiet postseason at the plate for Mookie Betts, but he finally made his presence felt with the stick on Wednesday night. He didn’t hit a home run or drive in any runs, but he at least set the table and scored a run, while also making the Dodgers uncomfortable with his aggressive base running. This offense is especially hard to slow down when the likely AL MVP is getting on base, so it’ll be tough for the Dodgers to win at all if they suddenly can’t get Betts out. Not to mention, J.D. Martinez driving in the eventual game-winning runs. Tell me that man isn’t worth every penny and more.
— Alex Cora is taking Dave Roberts to the woodshed. We’ll see how Cora does when he’s in Roberts’ house and playing national league rules. But for two games, Cora is absolutely managing circles around Roberts. His bullpen moves continue to pay off, while Roberts continued to bring in shaky relievers who couldn’t get out of crucial jams. The decision to bring in Ryan Madson, presumably just to get a righty-on-righty matchup, will be rightfully questioned. At some point, Roberts needs to know when a guy can’t handle the moment. Madson clearly could not. The bottom of the fifth inning was a microcosm of the managing clinic that Cora is putting on.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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