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If It Was Playoff Time, Would It be Pomeranz Or Price Who Starts Game 2

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Boston Red Sox Talk: If It Was Playoff Time, Would It be Pomeranz Or Price Who Starts Game 2

If the postseason started today, what would the Boston Red Sox starting rotation look like? It is tough to say at the moment, it is unclear if Drew Pomeranz can continue his dominance, or if David Price will return from his injury. Putting those variables aside, let us imagine that Pomeranz’s success continues, and Price comes back at full health with a similar performance to what he is used to in Boston.

Game 1 for John Farrell should be easy, Chris Sale. Sale is a Cy Young favorite and will be in the AL MVP discussion when this season concludes. Sale has a 2.57 ERA in 161.2 innings pitched prior to Sunday’s start. His dominance this season rivals the level of Pedro Martinez back in 1999. Sale game 1 is a no brainer.

Game 2 is where the controversy starts. Unlike last season it will not be Rick Porcello. The reigning Cy Young winner has had his fair share of problems this season and despite a resurgence as of late, he will likely see himself in a game 4 starting role come playoff time. For game 2 is will likely come down to Pomeranz or Price.

David Price

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price pauses after giving up a solo home run to Minnesota Twins’ Kurt Suzuki in the second inning of a spring training baseball game in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

As of right now, even if Price was healthy, I would have to start Drew Pomeranz game 1. If the money of Price is the deciding factor than we have a bigger issue. But Pomeranz has been money, in fact he has been so good that he has pitched himself into Cy Young contention. According to ESPN, Pomeranz is the 4th rated favorite to win the Al Cy Young this season. The left-handed starter has a 3.39 ERA this season in 127.1 innings pitched. Of course we are not sure what he will do in the final month and a half. He could very well fall apart, but at the moment that doesn’t seem likely.

With Pomeranz going game 2, David Price should be a game 3 starter. Price has been solid in limited time this season for the Boston Red Sox. He has a 3.82 ERA in only 66 innings pitched. If he can get healthy for the playoffs, he would be an elite game 3 starter. The emergence of Pomeranz has created a potential three headed monster for the Red Sox. And just behind them happens to be a resurgent Rick Porcello who happened to win the Cy Young in the previous season.

Porcello has a 4.63 ERA this season for Boston, but he posted a 3.06 ERA in 5 starts in July. He has had a rocky first start in August, but his second was solid with 6 innings of work allowing 4 base hits and 2 earned runs. With Porcello in the four hole, that rounds out a playoff starting rotation for the Red Sox.

This foursome of course leaves out the ever so consistent Eduardo Rodriguez. E-Rod has a 3.80 ERA this season in 87.2 innings pitched. Rodriguez was elite in the first two months of the season, but after an injury, he was out until July 17th. He had a rocky three starts in July with a 6.75 ERA in that month. But he has shown has elite form as of late with a 1.50 ERA in two starts in August. If he continues this level of play and looks like the E-Rod of April and May, you could see him bump Porcello right out of the rotation come playoff time.

A lot can change, Price could fail to come back, Pomeranz could fall off, injuries happen. But at the moment here is what my starting rotation would look like if the playoffs started today.

  1. Chris Sale
  2. Drew Pomeranz
  3. David Price
  4. Rick Porcello

Rodriguez is going to make this tough for Farrell. But as of right now, I still have to go with Porcello.

This all spun off of a conversation I was listening to on WEEI on Sunday afternoon. They were debating between Price or Pomeranz. It might have been way too early to lay this out. But with playoff baseball a month and half away, it is always good to get the conversation started.

Leave your way too early postseason starting rotations in the comment section below!

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox And The Walk Off, Why 2017 Is Different

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The Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night to the tune of 10-8. The win was a staple of what the 2017 Red Sox have become. A team that never gives up.

Despite a poor start by Doug Fister and being down countless times throughout the game the offense and the team battled back to force the Orioles into another extra-innings affair.

Monday’s game was the 17th time this season Boston has played into extras with the pitching staff tossing 55.2 innings of “free baseball” to go along with it. To put that into perspective through Monday the Red Sox have played 150 games this season. That means roughly 9% of the time their ballgames have gone into extras. And when they go into extras it usually takes awhile with the average game going over by 3.2 innings.

But Boston has been good in these situations. Their pitching staff ranks 1st in ERA, 1st in WHIP, 1st in BAA, 1st in OPBA, 1st in SLGA, and 1st in OPSA (Courtesy of BostonSportsInf on Twitter).

As a team, they are 14-3 in extra-inning games. Their play in these situations has been remarkable with Monday’s win coming off the bat of rookie sensation Andrew Benintendi.

Boston has had their fair share of trouble and uncertainties this season. But their never giving up attitude is a trait that should serve them well heading into October. It isn’t just in extra innings that this pops up though. In 1 run ballgames, this season the Red Sox have a 19-17 record. The only winning record in the AL East besides the Orioles who are in fourth place at the moment. While that number isn’t “elite” it is a different spin for the Red Sox.

In their 2016 division winning campaign, they were dreadful in 1 run games going 20-24. The worst 1 run game record of any playoff team and the second lowest in the division to the last place Rays. Seeing this year’s Red Sox win games late and win them close is a positive sign.

They might not be the high-powered offense of 2016, but in 2017 they have more balls.

Heading into Tuesday’s game with the Baltimore Orioles the Red Sox are 3 games up on the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East. With 12 games to go, it is still a dogfight to the end with no more games against New York who holds the head to head lead if there is a tie. But with Boston’s clutch factor through the roof, confidence levels should be high.

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Boston Red Sox Starter David Price Successful In Relief

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Boston Red Sox

On Sunday, Boston Red Sox Pitcher David Price tossed his first outing in relief. Price who signed for the largest contract in Red Sox history last offseason has been rehabbing from an elbow injury. An elbow injury that has been nagging left-hander since spring training.

In his first appearance out of the bullpen, he tossed two perfect innings. Price was able to hit 96 mph on the radar gun and successfully mixed in his pitches recording a few swing and misses. For Boston, this far exceeded their expectations after 7 weeks off.

“That was even more than personally anticipated,” Farrell told reporters. “From the power to the touch and feel, I’m amazed that someone can pitch — haven’t pitched in a game in seven weeks and come out with that kind of command and throw three, four pitches for strikes. He’s a unique pitcher, and that was really a strong two innings of work today.

Farrell postgame also mentioned that the earliest Price will be used again is the finale of their series with Baltimore that starts on Monday.

Price’s success against the Tampa Bay Rays out of the pen will be very different than an outing against a playoff-bound team. Seeing him locate pitches and throw with some velocity is a positive sign. But he has had his fair share of simulated innings to build up to that point.

Price being used out of the bullpen can add much-needed depth for John Farrell. But Price as a starter is more valuable to the ballclub. But at this point, it looks like the plan will be strictly out of the bullpen for Price. Maybe not the right call, but for the pitcher that will eventually need elbow surgery it is the safer bet.

If you are a Red Sox fan that wants nothing to do with Price and would like him gone. Then you should be rooting for his success to end out this season and throughout next season. If he can pitch well till the end of next season chances are he opts out of his contract. But if he doesn’t, if the elbow acts up again which is likely, then Price will likely be in Boston for the remainder of his contract.

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Boston Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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David Price

It has been a nonplussing and extremely long week, for Boston sports fans. During this part of September, we all start to experience the perennial football jitters. Over the summer we’ve become accustomed to watching the Sox play practically every single day. So when the Patriots start up again, the 7+ days wait between games can feel torturous. Especially after a depressing loss, like the one that we saw last Thursday night.

But rejoice New England! It’s Friday. Week 2 in the NFL is officially underway. The Pats can start their redemption campaign with a win against the Saints on Sunday. It’s time for another highly anticipated edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Let’s kick it off!

The Good

A player very dear to Boston has returned from a lengthy stint on the “10-day DL”. Somehow what was supposed to be a quick rest, for general soreness, has been protracted into what feels like months. That’s right folks, David Price, the pride of the Red Sox, is back. But he’s not going to be pitching, in his normal capacity, as a starter. Nope, this time around our Cy Young winning southpaw will head to the bullpen.

Putting Price in the pen was being talked about, as we approached the threshold of his return. It was cemented just a couple of days ago, when manager John Farrell announced that David Price would be coming back to the Red Sox in a “multi-inning role” as a reliever.

Following the announcement, Price publically embraced his new responsibilities. In a recent press conference, he essentially said that he is willing to help this team in any way possible.

Price has pitched out of the bullpen before, even in the playoffs, and he has had success doing so. In the 2008 postseason, Price had a 1.58 ERA in 5.2 innings. Given his apparent compliance and willingness to serve, this seems like a win-win move.

Since the day that the Red Sox acquired him, David Price has had a tough go of it, both politically and statistically. Although he is one of the more loquacious pitchers in the game, and also a thinker, Price hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself to the Boston fan-base. So, of course, Sox fans are a little jaded to the pandering we hear in press conferences.

Hopefully Price can let go of the October troubles of his past, and start a new. For $30 million a year, I’m positive that the Sox would be more than happy with the lefty mutating into the next Andrew Miller. As we’ve been saying for the past couple years: It’s time to put up or shut, for David Price.

The Bad

At some point or another, almost all have us have been “the new kid in school”. An uncomfortable situation like that will certainly stimulate the fight or flight instincts in an individual. It can get ugly. Just ask, New Orleans Saints running back, Adrian Peterson.

This past Monday was the season premiere of Monday Night Football on ESPN. The first game, of the special double-header, featured the Minnesota Vikings versus the New Orleans Saints. Adrian Peterson was returning to the twin cities, for the first time in his new black and gold uniform. Not only was his performance underwhelming on the field, but he was visibly disgruntled and downtrodden on the sidelines. This was not the AP that America is used to seeing.

Now, I lived in Minnesota for quite some time; I watched Peterson play for years. I was in attendance for the game against the Chargers, when he broke the single-game rushing record. This dude’s an indefatigable worker and an absolute beast.

Peterson’s behavior during Monday night’s game was uncharacteristic, to say the least. The circumstances of his Saints debut, against the Vikings, represented the perfect storm for this veteran RB.

Think about it: He’s returning to the NFL, after a year that was saturated with domestic abuse controversy. Not to rekindle the past, but many people don’t even believe that he should be allowed to play football. Peterson is also on a new team, working with a new coach and a new playbook. Oh yeah, and his Vikings replacement, Dalvin Cook, set a rookie record for rushing yards, in that MNF game.

Adrian Peterson was involved in just 9 snaps, on Monday night. He had 6 carries, while only racking up 18 yards. This is a guy who has had a 2,000-yard season, and he has over 11,000 career rushing yards. Quite the dichotomy between his past and his present; hence the veteran’s frustration.

A video of Peterson dogging Saints head coach Sean Payton, on the sidelines, has gone viral. Payton is seen walking away, with his back turned, as his new RB chews him out roundly. Watching the game, you would presume that Peterson was complaining of a lack of involvement in the offense.

Since the incident, Adrian Peterson has come out and addressed the media. He clarified that he is fine with coach Payton. But he also mentioned that he “didn’t sign up for 9 snaps”. Let’s hope his troubles continue, just for week 2, as the Patriots are facing the Saints this Sunday.

Only time will tell, but if I was a betting man I would say that Peterson will eventuality prosper in New Orleans. This is a guy who has won the comeback player of the year award, after recovering from a torn ACL. For now it’s sad to watch a veteran, who was once regarded as one of the greatest ever, spiral out of control like this. It’s bad for fans and it’s bad for the sport.

The Ugly

Give Sergio Dipp another chance! We all know it was cringeworthy, inappropriately bombastic and downright awkward. But come on ESPN, cut the newbie some slack!

If you managed to stay awake Monday night, after the scintillating Vikings-Saints game, you saw a piece of pop culture history. Holy cow! Stretched thin, ESPN threw together a motley crew of neophytes for the broadcast of the second MNF game. One of these rookies was bright-eyed sideline reporter Sergio Dipp.

This dude was coming over from the ESPN Deportes section of the sports media company. On Monday, Dipp made his first report from the sidelines of a nationally telecasted NFL game. He seized the opportunity. Go and watch the video, because his performance was unspeakably bad.

Dipp’s commentary focused mainly on the new head coach of the Denver Broncos, Vance Joseph. It’s clear that Sergio Dipp felt a deep psychological connection with this kindred spirit, who was also making an important debut. “Here he is, having the time of his life.” Dipp exclaimed as the camera panned over to, a cool and calm, Vance Joseph inspecting his playbook. In actuality, it was Sergio Dipp, not Joseph, who was having the time of his life.

That was Dipp’s first, and only appearance as a sideline reporter. He bombed. The video propagated Twitter like meme wildfire. Sergio tried to salvage some honor by releasing an apology video. It was even more cringeworthy.

I implore you to stop Mr. Dipp. Embrace your quirks and pretend like nothing happened. Sometimes the more you speak, after an embarrassing moment, the worse you make it. Any publicity is good publicity. Get back to the sidelines and report like you’re having the time of your life. I don’t think you could even pretend to do anything else.

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