BOSTON — The Red Sox’s season lives to see at least another day.
Game 3 of the American League Division Series between the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park was postponed Sunday due to rain, pushing the contest to Monday at 6:08 p.m. ET.
Playoff rainouts can have a big impact on pitching availability, especially in a five-game series. But in the case of the Red Sox and Indians, not much will change in Game 3: Both managers confirmed Sunday that Boston’s Clay Buchholz and Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin still are set to start Monday.
The Red Sox, of course, face a do-or-die situation trailing the series 0-2, and Sunday’s rainout will help give a breather to a bullpen that employed six pitchers in Friday’s Game 2 loss. If Boston keeps winning, it will have to play three days in a row, but Red Sox manager John Farrell says he’s willing to go deep into the bullpen if that’s the case.
“It’s easy to say that both bullpens will be well rested,” Farrell said before Sunday’s game. “But when you look at the potential of three consecutive games you’re always going to go based on two things at this point of the year: One, it’s all hands on deck for us; and, two, there might be a willingness to use guys a little more frequently because of the stakes that are being played for.”
One guy who could be added to the mix is Eduardo Rodriguez, who originally was scheduled to start Game 4. If the Red Sox win Game 3, Rick Porcello could be called upon to start Tuesday’s Game 4, as he’d be on five days’ rest. That would set up David Price to pitch Game 5 in Cleveland.
Rodriguez said Sunday he’ll answer the call if needed.
“I’ve never been in the bullpen before,” Rodriguez said. “But anyway, if they tell me to start or relieve or whatever, I’ll do.”
The extra day also bodes well for the Indians, as projected Game 4 starter Trevor Bauer and Game 5 starter Corey Kluber now each can pitch on five days’ rest, if necessary. Relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen also have more time to recover after throwing 40 pitches each in Thursday’s Game 1.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Sunday he’ll do whatever it takes to end this series in Boston, which could mean more of Miller and Allen in Game 3 on Monday.
“I think you try to win every game you can,” Francona said. “You might be less inclined to chase a win a little bit, but again, in a short series you’re never guaranteed you’re going to have a lead, so when you have a lead, you go for it.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images