BOSTON — The Red Sox officially are in postseason mode after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, which means there are roster moves to make.
Major League Baseball’s playoff teams have to shrink their rosters from 40 back to the usual 25 now that September is over, so Red Sox manager John Farrell has some work to do before his team heads to Cleveland on Thursday for Game 1 of their American League Division Series against the Indians. But luckily for the skipper, he’s already started.
“There’s been three players that have been notified they will not be with us,” Farrell said prior to Sunday’s game. “(Starter) Henry Owens and (infielder) Deven Marrero will report to Fort Myers, (Fla., on Monday), and (reliever) Noe Ramirez, his season concludes (Sunday).”
Farrell also announced that Rick Porcello will start Game 1, while David Price will get the ball in Game 2. And while it’s not surprising that Porcello is the No. 1 given his accomplishments this season, he’s still come a long way from last year.
“It tracks back to when he came off the (disabled list) last year,” Farrell said of Porcello’s success. “I think just — one, the biggest thing might be just getting comfortable in the surroundings here in Boston. That has been probably the biggest change in all of this. … But you go back to the execution of the sinker, and I know we’ve talked about this a lot. I think he’s evolved as a pitcher, but the ability to execute that pitch, his signature pitch, is key for him.
“In addition, I think he’s continued to learn about himself as a pitcher. So the overall pitcher versus one individual aspect of him is what makes him stand out. His command, his control, his ability to attack hitters weaknesses when he’s got the advantage.”
Here are some more notes from Sunday’s loss.
— The Red Sox came off an 11-game win streak only to lose five of their last six games. However, Farrell doesn’t think that will affect his team’s momentum going into the playoffs.
“No, I don’t,” Farrell said. “We were in a position to win probably three of these ballgames that did get away from us late. But this team is, like I said, they’re confident. We’re looking forward to Cleveland on Thursday.”
— Drew Pomeranz made his first relief appearance for the Red Sox on Sunday, and it went pretty darn well. The left-hander struck out left fielder Michael Saunders to end the eighth inning, pitched a clean ninth, save for a fielding error, and his velocity was up.
And the best news for the Red Sox is that Pomeranz feels comfortable in his new role.
“It feels like just yesterday I was in the bullpen, so it doesn’t — you can’t really faze me out there since I’ve done everything just last year,” Pomeranz said.
— Hanley Ramirez hit his 30th home run of the season to break up Jays starter Aaron Sanchez’s no-hit bid in the seventh. The first baseman joined Mookie Betts and David Ortiz with 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs, marking the first time in Red Sox history that the team has had three players reach that milestone in a season.
— Price had just four strikeouts Sunday, but they gave him 228 on the year. That’s the most by a left-hander in Red Sox history — Jon Lester owned the previous record at 225 — and is the second-most in his career.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images