The issue here is Houston had prepared for that situation for a long time, while the Red Sox kind of did for about three or four weeks.
The ultimate wisdom of that decision is in the process of being tested here in October.
Behind a seven-run fourth inning, a cycle from Brock Holt and a slew of questionable decisions by Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the Red Sox took control of their Division Series against NY with an impressive 16-1 demolition in Game 3. After the 6-2 loss in Game 2, Price now has an 0-9 record with a 6.03 ERA in 10 career postseason starts. When Cora came to remove him Saturday, the Yankees led, 3-0.
"No, no, he's one of our starters", Cora said. "I'm excited. This is what we play for coming out of spring training". He pitched for NY in 2015 and '16 before injuring his elbow, which required Tommy John surgery for the second time. Nathan Eovaldi tossed seven innings and struck out five.
Perhaps more notably, Sanchez brought two more Yankees home with him to extend the lead to 6-1, a margin that was going to be easily insurmountable.
Four batters later, Red Sox manager Alex Cora had seen enough and what could well end up being a beleaguered Boston bullpen by the time this series is done was summoned early. The Yankees have certainly victimized other pitchers this season, but an inordinate number of home runs, nine in the regular season and two more Saturday night, have come against Price, in just 17 ⅓ innings combined. The 28-year-old right-hander, who throws at 97-98 miles per hour, allowed no earned runs in three of four starts this year against the Yankees. Boston can finish the series on Tuesday night in the Bronx, but before we look ahead to that one, here are three thoughts from a wild rout at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees look for 100th win against Red Sox
The Red Sox jumped to leads of 4-0 after one inning, 7-0 after two and emptied the bench as planned over the next seven. Hicks hit a three-run shot in New York's six-run fourth. "It happens all the time at our stadium", Stanton said.
"I feel like in baseball it's more important [in] the second half than the first half", Severino said at Sunday's press conference. "I think attacking, being aggressive, and go from there".
Who follows Eovaldi in the late innings, if necessary, is anybody's best guess. It was the first time in 299 regular-season and postseason starts that Price failed to strike out a batter.
Game 3 is Monday night at Yankee Stadium with the series tied 1-1. "We need to win tonight, and that way we can be ready to go for Game 4". Severino escaped without further incident, but bafflingly, he was allowed to start the fourth-and even more confusingly, Boone had no one warming up behind him. There will also be, one presumes, more chances in the future for Price to flip this terrible script.
The essence of a successful Red Sox pitcher is to beat the Yankees and win in October, and sometimes both.
"We have to keep it in the park", the first-year Red Sox manager said of a Yankees offence that set a major league record with 267 regular-season homers in 2018, a mark that had stood since the 1997 Seattle Mariners hit 264. But on Saturday night, the player feeling the crush of those walls, and hearing the vitriol of the crowd, wore the home-white trousers and home-red jersey of the Red Sox.