Red Sox-Rays ALDS Game 2 FAQ (Live, FS1)

October 8th, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays’ youth was served in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on Thursday night. Rookies Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco and Shane McClanahan all took center stage in Tampa Bay’s 5-0 victory over Boston. All season, the Rays have bet on their talent and youth over age and experience.

To take a 2-0 lead in the ALDS, the Rays will need another budding star -- Shane Baz, the club's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline -- to shine on the mound. Looking to pull even in the series, the Red Sox will counter with an experienced, proven postseason starter: Chris Sale. The veteran lefty is set to take the mound for Boston in Game 2 on Friday night at Tropicana Field.

“We're good,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after his team's Game 1 loss. “We’ve got Chris, and he is ready to go. The bullpen is rested, so we should be OK.”

When is the game and how can I watch it?
The game will air on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.

Starting lineups
Red Sox:
J.D. Martinez’s big bat is back in the lineup. The star slugger sprained his left ankle in Sunday's regular-season finale, forcing him to miss Tuesday night's AL Wild Card Game. He also was out of the lineup for Game 1 of this series. Installing Kyle Schwarber at leadoff against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in the Wild Card Game was a new look for Cora, one he goes back to for this matchup. Boston has been a better team against righties than lefties all season, but this is its first look at Baz.

Rays: Even with Sale starting for the Red Sox, the Rays did not stack the top of the lineup with right-handed bats in Game 2, going with the same order from the ALDS opener.

Who are the starting pitchers?
Red Sox:
Sale (5-1, 3.16 ERA) has been waiting to get back on the bump since his early hook (only seven outs recorded) in the final game of the regular season against the Nationals. Sale is grateful that his team climbed out of an early 5-1 deficit that day and gave him another chance to pitch this season, and he will be looking to pay them back for that comeback with a dominant effort. Sale, who grew up in Lakeland, Fla., loves pitching at Tropicana Field, where he has a 2.09 ERA in 12 career appearances. Sale has made nine starts in his return from Tommy John surgery, pitching at least five innings in seven of those outings.

Rays: Baz (2-0, 2.03 ERA) will take the mound in Game 2 after making only three Major League starts at the end of the regular season. The 22-year-old will match Matt Moore, who started Game 1 of Tampa Bay's ALDS against Texas in 2011, for the fewest regular-season appearances before his first playoff start in postseason history. Baz has shown impressive poise and remarkable stuff, striking out 18 while walking only three in 13 1/3 innings. This will be his first time facing the Red Sox.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Red Sox:
If the Red Sox have a silver lining from their Game 1 loss, it’s this: The bullpen is perfectly positioned to get big outs behind Sale in Game 2. Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock, the relievers with the most powerful stuff in Cora’s bullpen, are rested and ready. So, too, are Hansel Robles and Ryan Brasier, who have been on hot streaks.

Rays: Cash's bullpen should be in good shape after McClanahan handled five innings in Game 1. The Rays only had to use three relievers: JT Chargois and David Robertson for one inning each and J.P. Feyereisen for two frames. That means they managed to avoid using their top three high-leverage arms -- Andrew Kittredge, Collin McHugh and Pete Fairbanks -- as well as lefty Josh Fleming, righty slider specialist Matt Wisler and multi-inning weapons like Luis Patiño and Michael Wacha. Combine that with the fact that Saturday is a scheduled off-day, and Cash can be as aggressive as he wants to be behind Baz.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Red Sox:
Only Nick Pivetta, who provided his team with a big service, tossing 4 1/3 innings on 73 pitches (41 strikes) in Game 1 to save the rest of the bullpen.

Rays: Cash would probably like to stay away from Feyereisen, who threw 31 pitches (23 strikes) in two innings in Game 1, but everyone should be good to go.

Any injuries of note?
Red Sox:
Boston gets star slugger Martinez (sprained left ankle) back in the lineup for Game 2. Devers appears to be dealing with some sort of nagging right arm injury and had it bandaged up for Game 1, but Cora said it’s nothing beyond normal wear and tear.

Rays: Tampa Bay has a bunch of pitchers on the 60-day injured list, but no injury issues on the postseason roster. The Rays are confident that Wisler, who dealt with a right middle finger injury down the stretch, is good to go.

Who is hot and who is not?
Red Sox:
Schwarber continues to provide big at-bats for Boston. After going deep in the AL Wild Card Game, he went 2-for-4 in ALDS Game 1. In 26 career postseason games, Schwarber is slashing .301/.414/.603 with seven homers and 12 RBIs. … After hitting a big homer in the AL Wild Card Game, Bogaerts had two more hits in ALDS Game 1. ... Hernández hasn’t been the same player since returning from the COVID-19 injured list that he was during his red-hot two months before that. Thursday marked the one-month anniversary of his return to the lineup, and Hernández is slashing .208/.291/.354 since then.

Rays: It’s October, so Arozarena is hot. He walked twice, homered and stole home in ALDS Game 1, as he simply seems to take his play to another level in the postseason. ... Franco also got off to a good start, rapping a pair of doubles in his postseason debut. ... The Rays had to be encouraged to see Cruz -- who hadn’t performed up to his standard with Tampa Bay -- go deep in Game 1. ... The Rays might not need left-handed bats on Friday, but two of them -- Ji-Man Choi (.628 OPS in September) and Joey Wendle (.718 OPS) -- didn’t exactly soar through September.

Anything else fans might want to know?
• The Red Sox and Rays are 6-6 when facing off in postseason games. Tampa Bay won the 2008 AL Championship Series in seven games. Boston won the ’13 ALDS in four games. This series represents the rubber match.

• Game 1 was the Rays’ third shutout in postseason history, joining the 2013 AL Wild Card Game at Cleveland and Game 1 of the '11 ALDS at Texas.

• In the regular season and postseason combined, the Rays have scored 6.09 runs per game (268 runs in 44 games) when both Franco and Cruz are in the lineup.