Why Did Alex Cora Pitch Martín Pérez In Ninth Inning Of Red Sox-Astros ALCS Game 4?

Pérez surrendered a bases-clearing double on the first pitch he threw


Oct 20, 2021

Alex Cora brought Martín Pérez into Game 4 of the American League Championship Series in the ninth inning with the Boston Red Sox trailing Houston Astros 3-2 with the bases loaded. It was a decision that baffled many.

Pérez was demoted to the bullpen in August after struggling through several starts. His time out of ‘pen didn’t include many high-leverage situations, signifying Cora lost trust in the left-hander. But with a crucial Game 4 still in reach, the manager decided to lift Nathan Eovaldi for Pérez to face Michael Brantley.

It didn’t work out, though. Brantley cleared the bags with a double before the Astros ultimately went on to win 9-2 and tie the ALCS at 2-2.

Before a pivotal Game 5, Cora was asked about the decision to bring Pérez in.

“We used Martín in that spot in Game 1 against Michael,” Cora told reporters, as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “So we felt like stretching Nate didn’t make sense. And Martín did a good job with him (in Game 1). He got a ground ball the other day. So that’s why he’s on this roster. He’s here to get lefties out. We just felt like lefty on lefty and make pitches and he got ambushed. That’s it. But we felt like that was right there his matchup.”

Brantley grounded into an inning-ending double play against Pérez with the Astros holding on to a 5-3 lead in Game 1. Houston eventually won 5-4.

It’s unclear whether Pérez will be used Wednesday. But with Game 5 being crucial for Boston to win to avoid going back to Houston down 3-2, Cora likely will be strategic with his pitchers.

First pitch is set for 5:08 p.m. ET on Wednesday

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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