No rotation changes for Red Sox, Indians after rainout
BOSTON -- Both managers say they are sticking with their scheduled Game 3 starters after Sunday's American League Division Series game between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park was washed out by an all-day rain.
Josh Tomlin will try to finish off a three-game sweep for the Indians, and Clay Buchholz will attempt to extend the Red Sox's season, but it is the bullpens that more likely will be affected by a rainout that creates the potential for games three straight days.
And that is where the advantage seemingly goes to the Red Sox.
Cleveland ace Corey Kluber was able to cruise to a 6-0 win in Game 2, but Indians manager Terry Francona had to use Andrew Miller and Cody Allen a combined 3 2/3 innings in the opener. He didn't want to use them in Game 2 and didn't have to because Kluber was in control.
With Tomlin going Monday night (6:08 p.m. ET), heavy use of the bullpen with potential Games 4 and 5 looming could lead to some problems for Francona.
"I think when you have a lead in a short series you try to win because you're never guaranteed that you're going to have the lead the next day," Francona said Sunday -- before the game was officially called at around 1:45 p.m. ET.
"I think you try to win every game you can," he continued. "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."
In other words, Game 3 could look a lot like Game 1, but a Boston win could create a problem for the Indians with Game 1 starter Trevor Bauer going Tuesday after lasting just 4 2/3 innings in the opener.
The Red Sox, who don't have relievers going multiple innings, should be in good shape. But they, of course, can't afford another loss before the next round.
"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," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "One, it's all hands on deck for us, and two, there might be a willingness to use guys a little bit more frequently because of the stakes that are being played for."
Neither manager indicated any change in plans for Game 4, either, with the Red Sox announcing left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will oppose Bauer at Fenway Park. But that doesn't mean it will happen -- Rodriguez has just three wins all season, and all three came on the road. He is 0-4 at home.
Rick Porcello, a 22-game winner, didn't lose a game at home until Sept. 14 -- his only home defeat of the season.
On Saturday, Porcello entered his manager's office and came away saying, "I'm available for whatever he needs me for. It's going to depend on some things and what happens and where we end up after the next game, but I'm available.
"We've got nothing to lose at this point. Let's just go out there and lay it all out and see where we end up."
Rodriguez, talking after Sunday's game was rained out, said, "I was going to be in the bullpen today anyway, being a starter, reliever or whatever."
Of the 28 teams that have rallied from 0-2 to win a best-of-five LDS, the Red Sox have done it twice, beating 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 best-of-seven 2007 ALCS, the second of Francona's two championships in Boston.
"It's not over yet. They have to beat us three times, not two," Boston's Dustin Pedroia said after the Game 2 loss.
Both Tomlin and Buchholz escaped bullpen exiles to return to their respective rotations late in the season.
Buchholz, actually shifted 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 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in his last 25 2/3 innings -- after recording a 7.96 ERA and a .937 OPS in his previous 10 starts.