I can no longer describe this year’s World Series as nondescript. We’ve played twenty-seven innings of baseball in Los Angeles this weekend with another nine tonight.
Alex Cora threw the oddsmakers a funny one when he revealed David Price would start Game 5 instead of Chris Sale but is he anything more than a sacrifice, up against Clayton Kershaw before the series shifts back to Boston?
I’m skeptical. So I’m playing the Dodgers tonight and I’m playing them big. Pedro Baez and Julio Urias are rested so Dave Roberts doesn’t have any reason to use the guys he used before them on Saturday, tonight. They can give the Dodgers nine outs. Kenley Jansen has given up the two home runs but I still trust him at least as much as any Boston reliever to get three outs tonight. The Dodgers have enough with those three guys and Kershaw.
Boston got its road win in Game 4 with an innings eater for a starting pitcher and Cora will play the long game now because 1) he can and 2) he has to. He only used four pitchers in Game 4 because of the job Eduardo Rodriguez did but the other three were Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel, each of which have worked up a pitch count in Los Angeles. If Kershaw bombs and Price pitches well for a third consecutive start, Cora could turn to Ryan Brasier (who didn’t pitch in Game 4) and then consider which guy to throw for a third night in a row.
Maybe, just maybe, Cora wouldn’t mind if his team didn’t give him any reason to use Kelly, or Barnes, or Kimbrel tonight and, instead, forced the Dodgers to give their innings to Kershaw and Baez. He’s made the decision to hold Chris Sale back another two days and start him in an elimination game at Fenway Park instead of Dodger Stadium, and against Hyun-Jin Ryu instead of against Kershaw, when the bullpen, including Nate Eovaldi, will be better rested. And even if the move is all about winning Game 5, it won’t happen unless David Price is legendary.
Play: Dodgers -130