NEW YORK -- The Red Sox have not lost confidence in David Price. A day after the lefty got shelled in his loss in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees on Saturday night, Boston manager Alex Cora said he plans on using Price in relief,
NEW YORK -- The Red Sox have not lost confidence in David Price. A day after the lefty got shelled in his loss in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees on Saturday night, Boston manager Alex Cora said he plans on using Price in relief, though he didn't specify which game or in what type of situation.
"Obviously we need outs. Actually, we were just talking about him, me and [pitching coach] Dana [LeVangie], and there were a few things that we noticed, actually the last few weeks, that he's not doing the way he did in those 11 outings or whatever it was," Cora said. "I know physically he's fine, and we know where we're going. So most likely we'll use him in some spot, yeah."
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In fact, Cora didn't rule out Price pitching as early as tonight's Game 3 if the Red Sox are in a bind. Price threw just 42 pitches and lasted only 1 2/3 innings in Game 2 on Saturday night, yielding mammoth homers to Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, as well as an RBI rocket off the Green Monster by Didi Gregorius.
"We'll talk to him," Cora said. "Actually, I'll call him tonight, see how he feels. If it's [tonight], it's [tonight]. If it's Game 4, it's Game 4."
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It would be a highly intriguing storyline to see Price pitch in Yankee Stadium, where he is 0-6 with a 9.79 ERA while allowing 13 home runs in 30 1/3 innings since joining the Red Sox. While Price's failures as a starter in the postseason have been well-chronicled (0-9, 6.03 ERA), he's been much better as a reliever, going 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in eight appearances.
Moreland a definite maybe for Game 3
First baseman Mitch Moreland, who tweaked his right hamstring running the bases and had to be removed from Game 2, spent Sunday receiving "aggressive treatment," according to Cora.
There's no word yet if Moreland will be able to answer the bell for Game 3.
"We'll know a little bit more after all his rounds of whatever, ice and stim and all that stuff he goes on, and then we'll talk to Brad and go from there," Cora said.
If Moreland can't start, Cora could go with Steve Pearce or Brock Holt at first base.
Though this is the first time the 108-win Red Sox have faced true adversity all season, needing to win one of these two games in New York to avoid elimination, there was a business-as-usual feel to the team on Sunday.
"The only aspect I think that is pretty much the same in the regular season is that we go day by day," shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "So we just really focus on tomorrow and winning tomorrow. I think we've had a lot of success during the season on winning the game on that specific day and not thinking ahead. So I think we'll just go out and take the same approach. We know how important it is to win [tonight], and we're looking forward to that."
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Cora has set the even-keeled tone for his team all season. It has been successful getting the team to this point, so the Red Sox won't waver.
"Coming into the playoffs, we knew we had to win series," Cora said. "I think we did an outstanding job throughout the season just staying in the moment. I think at one point in the season, we were two games back. I think it was in Minnesota. Nothing changes. Like today, regular off-day. Some guys showed up. They took some hacks. They got treatment, they'll have a good dinner in New York City, and come [tonight] and play the way we can play."
Cora to E-Rod: 'Be accountable'
In the top of the seventh inning of the Game 2 loss, Judge hit a grounder to the right side that Moreland fielded at first base. The only problem was that pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez didn't get to first base in time, and Judge was safe. Later in the inning, Sanchez hammered his second homer of the night, a three-run shot that put the game away.
"I just talked to him and told him just be accountable. That's it," Cora said. "I guess he told you guys he slipped or something like that. I'm like, 'Man, if you don't break right away, just be accountable. That's all we ask.' And he's like, 'Yeah, my fault. I just didn't break.' That's it. Hey, I get it. Next time just bust [it] to first base. That's all you've got to do.
"The thing is, I look at the play, and it's not guaranteed he's going to be out, but we probably have a chance. And where we're at right now at this stage, we can't take plays off. We didn't do that the whole season. It just happened yesterday. But I talked to him, and we're on the same page. Hopefully, the next ground ball to first, he goes to first and we get him."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.