ALCS 2021: Red Sox vs. Astros Discussion Thread

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
None of us really know what is going on with Sale or just how good he can be on any one day. But it really feels to me like the Red Sox have far fewer paths to victory without him being effective. In fact, I guess I'd say you almost have to assume he can be effective because there is not the depth to win without him. With that in mind, he should be rested at this point and their most likely path to victory is probably one where he starts game one, at least that is what I think right now.

If Sale can pitch game one and go five innings the Red Sox then really have bought themselves a series of much more normally rested arms. I'd like to see Pivetta get another day of rest to get over whatever 140 pitches (is that right?) does to an arm. And the same applies all down the line.

And if that is the wrong play -- that Sale can't really be effective in game one -- they are pretty screwed anyway.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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None of us really know what is going on with Sale or just how good he can be on any one day. But it really feels to me like the Red Sox have far fewer paths to victory without him being effective. In fact, I guess I'd say you almost have to assume he can be effective because there is not the depth to win without him. With that in mind, he should be rested at this point and their most likely path to victory is probably one where he starts game one, at least that is what I think right now.

If Sale can pitch game one and go five innings the Red Sox then really have bought themselves a series of much more normally rested arms. I'd like to see Pivetta get another day of rest to get over whatever 140 pitches (is that right?) does to an arm. And the same applies all down the line.

And if that is the wrong play -- that Sale can't really be effective in game one -- they are pretty screwed anyway.
Eovaldi would be normally rested for game one. I’d start him, with sale going game two with a short leash
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Eovaldi would be normally rested for game one. I’d start him, with sale going game two with a short leash
In the playoffs, everyone should be on a short leash. But I agree that I'd go with Eovaldi in 1 and Sale in 2. If Sale doesn't have it, you can empty the bullpen with an off day on Sunday.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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In the playoffs, everyone should be on a short leash. But I agree that I'd go with Eovaldi in 1 and Sale in 2. If Sale doesn't have it, you can empty the bullpen with an off day on Sunday.
Agreed, I meant short leash even by playoff standards. If Eovaldi gives up a couple of hits and a run in the third, for example, I’d let him go back out (depending on how hard the balls were being hit). Sale id probably like to see pulled
 

dhellers

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Cora says the rotation isn't decided yet.

View: https://twitter.com/IanMBrowne/status/1448376519357779973


And, with the optimistic air of spring training declarations of "in the best shape of his career", Cora also says Sale "found something" in the bullpen and he expects him to contribute.

View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1448374283395338248
Would be good news if true.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/did-boston-red-sox-s-chris-sale-find-it-in-bullpen-like-david-price-did-in-2018-alex-cora-hopes-so/ar-AAPtTcd?ocid=uxbndlbing
 

cantor44

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In the playoffs, everyone should be on a short leash. But I agree that I'd go with Eovaldi in 1 and Sale in 2. If Sale doesn't have it, you can empty the bullpen with an off day on Sunday.
I agree with this as well. Eovaldi game 1, Sale game 2. Sale 2 not only allows you to use more relief arms if he doesn't have it given the day off that follows, but you also can then give him 5 days of rest before his next start in a potential game 6 (every other starter would have a maximum of 4 days off between starts). The extra day might be helpful given that he's essentially still recovering/gaining stamina.
 

ricopetro6

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In the playoffs, everyone should be on a short leash. But I agree that I'd go with Eovaldi in 1 and Sale in 2. If Sale doesn't have it, you can empty the bullpen with an off day on Sunday.
If Sale is a dud in game 2, it screws up the rotation. If he's a dud in Game 4, he doesn't have to start again. 2 starts each for Nate, Erod, Pivetta if it goes 7.
If Sale magically finds it in game 4 he can be used in middle relief on 3 days rest in game 7
 

pokey_reese

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The mlb.com position-by-position breakdown for the series says "Framber Valdez will start Game 1 after allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings against the White Sox." and "But with Sale healthy, Game 1 starter Nathan Eovaldi wielding a 1.93 career ERA in the postseason..."

So they've already decided the game 1 matchup!
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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If Sale is a dud in game 2, it screws up the rotation. If he's a dud in Game 4, he doesn't have to start again. 2 starts each for Nate, Erod, Pivetta if it goes 7.
If Sale magically finds it in game 4 he can be used in middle relief on 3 days rest in game 7
Sale being a dud in game 2 doesn’t “screw up the rotation” until game 6. That’s an eternity and little will go as planned during that time. The upside of his being good in game 2 far outweighs this
 

ricopetro6

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Sale being a dud in game 2 doesn’t “screw up the rotation” until game 6. That’s an eternity and little will go as planned during that time. The upside of his being good in game 2 far outweighs this
Hopefully he turns it around, but he's looked pretty awful last few starts. Don't trust him at all against that RH line up. I would rather use Houk in a close game or up, not after 3-4 runs from Sale.
 

Archer1979

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RedOctober3829

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Solid pitchers both, but not guys that scare you. Nor am I intimidated by the Astros relief options.
View: https://twitter.com/brianmctaggart/status/1448729840912326663
In 2 starts against the Red Sox this year, Valdez shut them down pretty easily. 14.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 18 K/2 BB. Garcia started once against the Red Sox going 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 K/1BB. However, lefties have an .814 OPS off of Valdez. Therefore, will we see Shaw start in place of Dalbec?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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In 2 starts against the Red Sox this year, Valdez shut them down pretty easily. 14.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 18 K/2 BB. Garcia started once against the Red Sox going 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 K/1BB. However, lefties have an .814 OPS off of Valdez. Therefore, will we see Shaw start in place of Dalbec?
Why Shaw when they've been using Schwarber all post-season regardless of pitcher-handedness?
 

chrisfont9

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Would like to see Nate-Pivetta-Erod. Then Sale(backed by Houk) if up 2-1 or 3-0. If down, Back to Nate in game 4 on short rest
If you are tethering Sale and Houck, how about starting Houck and telling him he gets 2-3 innings, then turns it over to Sale? The Astros would probably start Tucker and Brantley, plus Alvarez, to max out on lefty-vs-Houck splits, and then either watch Sale come in to attack them, or burn 2-3 subs early in the game?
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I really want to believe that Sale feels good and found g-d in the bullpen, and that he makes every freakin Astor look like a flailing Manny Machado throughout game 1. If he does, and we take the first game, the series could snowball fast, in a good/g-d way.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Cora isn’t making decisions based on reputation. If Sale is starting game one, it’s because Cora thinks Sale is the best option to start game one. Maybe that’s because Sale fixed something and has dominant stuff back, maybe it’s because it gives the other guys another day of rest, maybe it’s because the team believes Sale’s stuff will play better in Minutemaid than Fenway. Whatever the reason, it’s not reputation
 

cantor44

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If Dalbec starts, Schwarber most likely will start in LF and Verdugo would sit against a LH starter.
I think this is right. Cora has effectively created a platoon between Verdugo and Dalbec, and all things considered this may be the best decision. I actually didn't want Dalbec to sit that much, but I do understand leaning on guys with longer track records who are still good like JD over Dalbec. Plus Verdugo has extreme splits, and Dalbec's splits are not negligible either. Moving Schwarb between left and first ensures you only compromise one defensive position a game (rather than moving Kike to second, Verdugo to center, schwarb or JD in left, etc). If - IF (pu pu pu) - Sox make it to the World Series, we may see less defensively advantageous line ups without the DH, with both Schwarb and JD in the field, etc. ...but I think for ALCS it's Dalbec starting against lefties, and Verdugo starting against righties, with Schwarb swinging between the two positions.