CLEVELAND — The Boston Red Sox have to hope a day of rest and a change of scenery can make all the difference. Because how they’ve performed in the first two games of the American League Division Series clearly isn’t going to cut it against the Cleveland Indians.
The Rex Sox lost 6-0 to the Indians on Friday at Progressive Field and managed just three hits, all of which came off Cleveland starter Corey Kluber. It was a near-worst-case scenario for the Red Sox, as the Indians didn’t even need to use their two best relievers, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, both of whom threw 40 pitches Thursday.
On Boston’s end, starter David Price lasted just 3 1/3 innings, meaning the Red Sox had to go through five more relievers just to finish out Game 2.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was one of several frustrated Red Sox players in the team’s clubhouse and said his team needs to recapture its identity before Game 3.
“Obviously they played better than us,” Pedroia said Friday. “I think coming into the series, we had a lot of guys in the last couple games feeling it out. I think we’ve kind of lost who we are.
“We’re the Boston Red Sox, and we need to go out there and play the game — we should dictate how the games, the tempo of the games, how everything should be played. In the last couple days, they did that and we didn’t. We’ve got to get to our workout (Sunday) and then play pitch by pitch in the next game. That’s all we can do right now.”
Pedroia went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout Friday and is just 1-for-8 with a double in the series. For the Red Sox’s bats, it might be a matter of simplification that turns the offense around.
“Just play. You just compete against the other team,” Pedroia said. “That’s it. All the other stuff, the information we get, you’ve got to throw out the window and play baseball. And that’s it. We’ve done it for 162 games, plus these two. It’s just a matter of competing and competing together.”
The Red Sox will hold a workout Saturday before taking on the Indians at Fenway Park on Sunday at 4 p.m. The Red Sox were 47-34 at home this season and 46-35 on the road, but home field advantage can make all the difference in the postseason. Just ask the Indians, who piled up 19 hits — including four home runs — over two games in front of rowdy sellout crowds at Progressive Field.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images