Off another strong start by David Price, Boston cruised to a 2-0 World Series lead over Los Angeles. Here are three thoughts on the Red Sox’ 4-2 victory in Game 2:
For the second night in a row, L.A.’s Ryan Madson looked more like an arsonist than a fireman. The 38-year-old was sharp through the NLDS and NLCS—certainly better than he’d been during the regular season, with a rough home run habit and a 5.47 ERA. But he’s now pitched in nine of the team’s thirteen postseason games, and this week, he hasn’t held up well. In Game 1 of the World Series, he inherited two runners and allowed both to score. In Game 2, he inherited three runners, and… you guessed it.
Madson relieved starter Hyun-Jin Ryu with two outs, bases loaded, to face Steve Pearce. He proceeded to throw his fastball five times in a row, missing in the same spot with all five—a five-pitch walk that, really, should have been a four-pitch walk. There’s no such thing as a good bases-loaded walk to tie a game, of course, but this one looked especially bad.
That was Madson’s first run, and a deep single from J.D. Martinez brought in the next two.
Price on point
David Price didn’t quite equal his last start—6.0 IP, scoreless, with nine strikeouts and no walks, for his first-ever postseason win in Game 5 of the ALDS. But he was just about as close to that as he could get, and it was more than enough for Boston. Price went six frames, allowing two runs off three hits. But all of that damage was limited to one inning—the fourth, when he allowed three singles and a walk—and he regrouped quickly. Three of Price’s six innings were three-up-and-three-down, including the final two.
The bullpen backed him up. Boston’s relievers didn’t allow a single baserunner, with Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel taking an uneventful inning each to shut it down.
Two outs, too good
The Red Sox entered tonight having scored exactly half of their postseason runs with two outs, 32 of 64. They boosted that figure in Game 2, with all four runs scoring after two men were already down. This isn’t anything new for the team, which had baseball’s strongest two-out offense in the regular season. (Of course, it helps when you’re already baseball’s strongest offense, in general.) Just how good are we talking? The Red Sox had a .766 OPS with two outs. The Athletics had a .764 OPS , period.
The Red Sox had a little help here in Game 2—three of those four runs came from the aforementioned meltdown by Madson—but the pattern holds. And if they keep it up, they have a chance to chase history: