Red Sox going into postseason-mode with starters (for now)

Rob Bradford
August 16, 2019 - 4:56 pm

It was a sign of the times.

BOS Bullpen


41-Chris Sale

The Red Sox lineup card usually doesn't list starters within the group of relievers on the lineup card distributed throughout the press box, but there Sale's name was. As it turned out the listing was a slip-up and all signs pointed to a regular spot in the dugout for the ace. But all things considered, the idea wasn't perceived as a crazy one.

This is how Alex Cora is approaching things, at least for the time being. All hands on deck.

"I consider myself a good baseball guy so I know how it works," Cora said. "I know where we’re at. You do the math and you’re like, ‘OK.’ And it’s not that we have more urgency now compared to three months ago or March 28. It’s just a reality. There’s X amount of days to gain X amount of games. It’s math. I went to UM (University of Miami), is that good? Math."

Heading into Friday night's game against the Orioles the math suggested the Red Sox were in trouble. Despite taking two of three against the Indians the Sox found themselves eight in back of Tampa Bay for a Wild Card berth with 39 games to play.

And with a fair amount off days on the horizon -- two next weeks along with the makeup of the suspended game against the Royals Thursday -- utilizing starters beyond just their turn might become a priority. It was the case when Nathan Eovaldi was called into action in Cleveland, with Rick Porcello also at the ready in the bullpen in the series finale.

"At this point, it makes you a little bit uncomfortable," said Cora of using the starters so liberally. "But if we get on a roll and then we feel good where we’re at to make certain series in September matter, we’ll do it. It’s just a few weeks earlier. They know it. They understand it. Throughout the weeks we’ll talk about it. But as of now, Cleveland was very aggressive. We needed it. There’s no hiding. We were able to do it. I think Dave mentioned it a few days ago, in the end, the rotation is going to dictate how we go about these next few weeks. We trust these guys and we’ll start with Rick (Porcello)."

Also in the bullpen for the series opener will be Eovaldi, although the righty is slated to get the start Sunday.