Indians not overconfident heading to Boston
BOSTON - Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona made a simple observation after his team went up 2-0 in the five-game ALDS series against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
"The atmosphere is going to be a little different come Sunday," said Francona, the former Red Sox manager.
He's right. The scene shifts - to Fenway Park - and so does the noise. So does a bit of history: of the 28 teams that have rallied from 0-2 to win an LDS, the Red Sox are two of those teams, doing it to the Indians in 1999 and the Oakland Athletics in 2003.
Francona's Red Sox also came from down 3-1 against the Indians to win the 2007 ALCS, the second of Francona's two World Series championships in Boston. Saturday, he called Fenway "kind of like a cathedral" and now he hopes to end this series on Sunday.
"It's not over yet. They have to beat us three times, not two," said Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
"Backs against the wall. (Clay) Buchholz on the mound Sunday with an attitude of no tomorrow," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after David Price followed Game 1 starter Rick Porcello into the postseason abyss with a poor Game 2 outing.
Game 3 features a matchup of two pitchers both banished to the bullpen this season because of poor work as a starter - Buchholz and Cleveland's Josh Tomlin. Both, however, have been better lately.
Buchholz, actually exiled to the 'pen on three different occasions, was 3-0 with only one bad start in September. Tomlin had a 1.75 ERA and yielded a .540 OPS in his last 25/3 innings after a 7.96 ERA and .937 OPS in his previous 10 starts.
Buchholz was 0-2 in two starts against the Indians this season, allowing 11 hits and eight earned runs in 10 innings. He is 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA lifetime against Cleveland.
Tomlin faced the Red Sox in a makeup game in Cleveland Aug. 15, turning in a quality start with seven hits and three runs in 7 2/3 innings. He is 2-3 with a 5.49 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against Boston.
The Red Sox don't have great numbers against Tomlin. David Ortiz is 3-for-17 and Mookie Betts and Travis Shaw are 1-for-6 apiece. Jackie Bradley Jr., 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in the series, is 3-for-7 against Tomlin while Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt are 2-for-6.
Cleveland's Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana are both 4-for-8 with a home run, Coco Crisp is 5-for-18 with a homer and five RBIs, but former teammate Mike Napoli is 3-for-15 against Buchholz.
"It looks like it's just one more game for us," Kipnis said after Game 2. "Guys look calm. They looked relaxed. Some of these guys who are younger and less experienced than I am are handling it way better than I handled my Wild Card Game (in 2013). It's impressive.
Said Pedroia: "I think we lost who we are - we're the Boston Red Sox."
Added Price: "I know I'm going to get to pitch again in 2016 and I'll be ready. I want it for sure. And I know these guys will give it to me."
Kipnis and Jose Ramirez are both 4-for-7, Brandon Guyer 3-for-4 and Roberto Perez 2-for-5 in the first two games for Cleveland. On the other side, Pedroia, David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts are all 1-for-8, Sandy Leon is 1-for-6.