By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Final, 4-2 Red Sox: This one is history, and the Red Sox now have a 2-0 World Series lead.
Here’s how the ninth went.
Machado flew out to center, with Bradley making the catch while backtracking at the base of the warning track.
Taylor then chopped out to second base.
Pederson then grounded out to short to end it.
End 8th, 4-2 Red Sox: Nothing doing for the Red Sox off Baez, but Martinez did get into a high and deep drive to left center. Bellinger made a pretty spectacular sliding catch at the base of the Monster. Bogaerts then got into one to right, but Bellinger again made the catch.
Devers grounded out to second to end the inning.
Now it’s Craig Kimbrel time.
Middle 8th, 4-2 Red Sox: An unbelievable postseason continues for Eovaldi, as he casually retires the Dodgers in order.
Bellinger struck out swinging, Turned grounded out softly to short, and Pederson flew out to left.
The Sox are three outs away from a 2-0 series lead. They probably wouldn’t mind some insurance here though.
End 7th, 4-2 Red Sox: Betts advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Moreland struck out.
Nathan Eovaldi is now on for the eighth.
Bottom 7th, 2 outs, 4-2 Red Sox: Maeda gave up a one-out double to Betts, a bomb off the Monster in left-center, but he came back to get Benintendi to strike out.
Cora called upon Moreland to pinch-hit for Pearce, and Roberts quickly went to left-hander Scott Alexander.
A single from Moreland here prrrrrobably puts the game out of reach for L.A. They’ve been lifeless ever since Boston stunned them in the fifth.
Middle 7th, 4-2 Red Sox: Joe Kelly is a buzzsaw.
Roberts inserted Muncy as a pinch hitter. Kelly struck him out.
Puig was next. He grounded out softly to the left side. Two outs.
Roberts then inserted Yasmani Grandal. He struck out looking at Kelly’s changeup, which has been phenomenal these past two nights.
Joe Kelly is a buzzsaw.
Kenta Maeda is on to pitch for L.A., with Vazquez then the top of the order due up.
End 6th, 4-2 Red Sox: Urias retires the Sox in order (they got under everything, with two sky-high popups and a liner to center from Devers), and Joe Kelly now enters for Boston.
Kelly was excellent last night when he faced Kemp (strikeout), Hernandez (strikeout) and Puig (groundout). He’s set to face Muncy (pinch hitting for Hernandez), Puig, and Barnes now in the 7th.
Eduardo Rodriguez is warming though, so perhaps Cora has his eyes set on Bellinger, who’s now in the leadoff spot.
Middle 6th, 4-2 Red Sox: David Price has delivered.
After getting staked to that two-run lead, the lefty didn’t mess around. He got Machado to pop out to shallow left. Taylor then tried to lay down a bunt for a hit, but Devers fielded it cleanly and threw to first to beat him by a half-step. Kemp then grounded out to end the inning.
That’s likely it for Price, though he is only at 88 pitches. If he is done for the night, that was a spectacular World Series start. Six innings, two runs, three hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
Julio Urias is now on for the Dodgers.
End 5th, 4-2 Red Sox: Wow. What a huge inning in this game.
Ryu looked to be cruising to another quick inning, retiring the first two batters before getting No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez into an 0-2 count. Inning over, right?
Well, no. Vazquez singled into right. Then Betts singled. Then Ryu engaged in a lengthy battle with Benintendi, with the lefty fouling off three pitches before talking ball four on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
That loaded the bases for Steve Pearce. Roberts went to Madson. Cora could have gone with a lefty like Moreland or Holt. He stuck with Pearce.
It might not have mattered who batted, because Madson was wild. Like, really wild. Pearce walked on five pitches. Even the strike was borderline. Madson was a mess.
That bases-loaded walk tied the game, and it set the stage for a bases-loaded situation for J.D. Martinez. Madson actually made a decent pitch, but Martinez put a little inside-out swing on it to send a curling liner into shallow right field. That scored Betts and Benintendi, and it gave Boston a two-run lead.
Bogaerts then fanned to end the frame, but, well, wow. The Red Sox just did that Red Sox thing again. And they did all of that with two outs. They’ve been something else.
Middle 5th, 2-1 Dodgers: David Price got through the fifth, thanks to some help by the friends behind him.
Benintedi looked like Michael Jordan while making a running and leaping catch in left field to rob Dozier of extra bases to start the frame. Bogaerts then made a strong throw after waiting on a chopper, retiring Turner at first. Then Freese gave an 0-1 fastball a ride to deep center, but Bradley made the catch on the warning track.
Price is only at 81 pitches, but given the struggles in the fourth and the contact made in the fifth, it’ll be interesting to see if Cora makes a move for the sixth. Currently the bullpen is quiet.
L.A. just put Bellinger in at center field, with Hernandez moving to second base. So Dozier’s out of the game.
End 4th, 2-1 Dodgers: Ryu is feeling, as he just retired the side in order. Martinez on a grounder to short (Martinez could barely run to first after twisting his ankle last night), then strikeouts by Bogaerts (looking at a heater at the very bottom of the zone) and Devers (swinging at a low curveball).
Price is coming back out for the fifth.
Middle 4th, 2-1 Dodgers: Price got the strikeout on Barnes — Price’s fifth K of the night — to end the inning.
But that was a big one for L.A.
Joe Kelly did start warming, but he’s now back on the bullpen bench. Cora might want one more inning out of Price, or at least another out or two. The top of the L.A. lineup is due up next inning.
Top 4th, 2 outs, 2-1 Dodgers: And now L.A. has a lead. Though Price won a lengthy nine-pitch battle by getting Hernandez to strike out swinging, Puig lined a first pitch fastball over the heart of the plate into center field, scoring Machado and advancing Taylor to third.
Still work to be done for Price, who has runners on the corners and must retire Austin Barnes.
Top 4th, 1 out, 1-1: David Price finally found himself some trouble.
He began the inning by allowing back-to-back singles from Freese and Machado. He then missed strike three to Taylor by just an inch on a 2-2 count, before walking him.
With the bases juiced, Matt Kemp sent a fly ball to deep center field. Bradley fielded it easily, but the run came in from third to tie this game at one-all.
End 3rd, 1-0 Red Sox: Ryu made quick work of Vazquez, striking him out in three pitches. Mookie Betts then hit a single to center, but Benintendi flew out to center before Pearce skied out to third base to end the inning. Good response from Ryu after a very shaky second.
Middle 3rd, 1-0 Red Sox: Price got hosed out of a 1-2-3 inning, as Kerwin Danley called ball four on a pitch to Brain Dozier that probably should have gone for strike three.
The call proved inconsequential, as Price induced a groundout from Turner on the first pitch of his at-bat to end the inning.
Puig started the inning with a soft liner to a perfectly positioned Kinsler near second base, followed by a Barnes flyout to right field.
End 2nd, 1-0 Red Sox: Uh-oh, Los Angeles. The Boston Red Sox have scored first.
It’s been all laser beams this inning for Boston. Martinez started the inning with a smoked shot to left-center, but the defense was aligned perfectly to catch the screaming liner.
Bogaerts followed that up with one that could not be caught, sending a line drive to deep left-center, high off the Green Monster, for a standup double.
Though Devers struck out swinging on a slower-than-seems-possible curveball, Kinsler came through with a two-out RBI single down the left field line to score Bogaerts.
It could have been an even bigger inning for Boston, as Bradley followed up Kinsler’s hit with a single of his own. But Kinsler got greedy trying to move first to third, and Taylor gunned him down at third base to end the inning.
Despite the ending, the Boston bats were all over Ryu that inning. He’s lucky to escape having only surrendered one run.
Top 2nd, 0-0: David Price has his good stuff so far tonight.
He got Taylor to strike out swinging in a three-pitch at-bat, then got Kemp to stare at strike three on a four-pitch at-bat. Hernandez then flew out to medium-depth right center to end the inning.
Price is locating his fastball, and he’s working in his changeup.
That’s 26 pitches and 18 strikes thus far for the lefty.
Martinez, Bogaerts and Devers due up for Boston.
End 1st, 0-0: Ryu gets through a quick first of his own, with Betts grounding out to short, Benintendi swinging through a 2-2 curveball, and Steve Perce popping out to first base. Just 11 pitches for Ryu there.
A slow start offensively should have probably been foreseen. Hitting in this weather isn’t easy, and pitchers have the distinct advantage of being able to keep their body temperatures warmer. The hitters will probably adjust at some point, but early on it can be a bit jarring to step in and try to make solid contact in this weather.
Middle 1st, 0-0: Solid start for Price. After the first-pitch groundout, he caught Justin Turner looking at strike three (on a pitch that split the plate):
Price then walked Freese, but got Machado to pop out to first base to end the inning after just 13 pitches.
Price was definitely taking his time between pitches, and he was employing that sort of stutter-step before beginning his delivery in earnest. It seems to be working so far.
Top 1st: Brian Dozier swung at David Price’s first pitch, and he promptly grounded out to third base.
Game 2 is underway.
8:03 p.m.: Members of the ’04 team just threw out the first pitch, with the Fenway crowd giving Dodgers manager Dave Roberts a rousing ovation for the second straight night.
First pitch is just minutes away. It’s freezing out. Should make for a hearty atmosphere.
5:50 p.m: A few pregame thoughts here at an already-frigid Fenway Park. (OK, “frigid” is extreme. If we got this weather in January, we’d all go out in T-shirts and shorts. But it’s 45 degrees out, and windy, and it’s not getting any warmer. Figures to be a tough night to get jammed inside.)
Anyway. Some lingering thoughts from Game 1.
First is this: Defense matters. It’s not what we like to talk about the most, because it’s not as fun as, say, a three-run pinch-hit homer. But there were two plays in particular that stood. One was in the bottom of the first. Mookie Betts set a twisting pop-up into no-man’s land in foul ground in shallow right field. It required a very good defensive play for an out to be recorded. But David Freese couldn’t make it. He overran it, and the ball bounced behind him, harmlessly for a foul.
Betts of course followed that up with a single and a stolen base. Benintendi promptly singled him home a pitch later, and the Sox were up 1-0. And as we know by now, the Red Sox don’t really lose game when they score first.
The other play came in the bottom of the seventh, and it was Benintendi sending a high bloop into shallow left. Was it a tough play for Joc Pederson to make? Sure. But a big league outfielder has to make that catch — whether it’s April 19 or October 23. You have to make that catch. But Pederson didn’t, and it forced the Dodgers into scramble mode a bit, with everything eventually leading to Eduardo Nunez’s three-run bomb to essentially seal the win.
Second — and this one’s quick — is that replay once again played a pivotal role in a Red Sox postseason win. Between the Angel Hernandez disaster at first base in the ALDS, the Tony Kemp catch/non-catch in Houston, and the infamous Joe West fan interference call, replay has been a prevalent part of this run. That was the case again in Game 1, when Steve Pearce was clearly safe at first base but was ruled out by Kerwin Danley for what was the final out of the inning. The Red Sox challenged and won — again, it was obvious — and it kept the inning alive. J.D. Martinez then launched a bomb to center field, an RBI double to break a 2-2 tie.
It was an easy challenge for Cora to make, but it makes you marvel at the fact that for decades, even when replay was readily available for use, it was not a part of this sport. We all just had to accept terrible calls and move on with our lives. Nutty to think about. So for as much as we all complain about the terrible aspects of replay (and there are many), we can at least take solace in the fact that obvious mistakes are corrected nowadays.
Lastly, there’s this: I’m struck by just how many Red Sox contributed in big ways to that win. This is a rudimentary grading system, but here’s a list of everyone who played in Game 1, listed as “Big Contributors,” “Partial Contributors,” or “Non-Contributors.”
Jackie Bradley Jr.
You could argue one way or another on a guy or two, but you get the idea. That win was not solely the result of Benintendi going off for four hits, or Nunez blasting a dinger, or a starter dominating for seven-plus. It was just a thorough team win with contributions from up and down the lineup and all throughout the bullpen.
As we’re seeing now with five straight postseason wins and an 8-2 October record, the Red Sox are a tough team to beat.
5:28 p.m.: And here’s the Dodgers’ lineup:
1. Brian Dozier 2B
2. Justin Turner 3B
3. David Freese 1B
4. Manny Machado SS
5. Chris Taylor LF
6. Matt Kemp DH
7. Enrique Hernandez CF
8. Yasiel Puig RF
9. Austin Barnes C
4:15 p.m.: And we now have our Red Sox lineup for Game 2.
Here’s what Alex Cora is trotting out against L.A. lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu:
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Steve Pearce, 1B
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
6. Rafael Devers, 3B
7. Ian Kinsler, 2B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9. Christian Vazquez, C
— David Price, LHP
It’s the same lineup as last night from 1-7, but Christian Vazquez will be behind the dish in place of Sandy Leon, batting ninth. With Vazquez in the lineup, Jackie Bradley Jr. moves up one spot to bat eighth.
Birthday boy Rafael Devers (who turns 22 today) remains in the lineup, and if he drives in a run he’ll break an MLB record for most consecutive postseason starts with an RBI. He’s currently tied with Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard with eight straight postseason starts with a RBI.
With Devers in the starting lineup, that means Eduardo Nunez is still available to come off the bench and launch a game-sealing homer for Cora and the Red Sox.
3:50 p.m.: We’re still waiting on lineups for tonight, but we have the lineup of former Sox players who will throw out the first pitch.
Several members of Boston’s 2004 World Series team will be on hand to toss out the ceremonial first pitch: Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Kevin Millar, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Keith Foulke, and Alan Embree (via The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham).
It’s going to be a cold one, but seeing those gents should warm Red Sox fans everywhere.
8:30 a.m.: Hey, last night was a real humdinger of a good time. What say we get back together around the same time and do it all over again tonight?
The Red Sox and Dodgers will indeed meet up again this evening, with the first pitch once again coming at 8:09 p.m. And just based on the way most Red Sox games have gone this postseason, it’s probably going to a bit wild and crazy.
On the mound for Boston will be one Mr. David Price. He’s been feeling loose and relaxed all week, ever since his big performance in the clinching game of the ALCS. That’s been a positive thing, but it won’t mean much if he can’t pitch well tonight.
And on the mound for Los Angeles, looking to prevent falling into a 2-0 hole, will be Hyun-Jin Ryu. His last time out was … not so great. He got shelled for five runs on seven hits and two walks over just three innings in taking a loss in Game 6 of the NLCS. To this point, he’s gotten progressively worse as the postseason has progressed, going from seven shutout innings in the NLDS, to allowing two runs over 4.1 innings of Game 2 of the NLCS, to the most recent dud in Milwaukee to force his team into a Game 7 situation.
The Red Sox don’t have much experience against Ryu. J.D. Martinez is 2-for-7 with a double and a walk, Ian Kinsler is 2-for-3 with two walks, Eduardo Nunez is 0-for-3, and Steve Pearce is 1-for-3. That’s it in terms of history, so there is a great unknown to this one.
The same holds true for Price. Only Manny Machado (12-for-41, five home runs, two walks) and Brian Dozier (9-for-39, four doubles, two homers) have much experience against him.
But, well, predictions and forecasts are about as meaningful as a bucket of Dubble Bubble this time of year. They’ll get you through a few seconds, but after that, you’re just left chewing on some bland, tasteless cud, wishing you hadn’t bothered.
That was perhaps a bit strong. Anyway, when this game actually does begin, we’ll have live updates and analysis all game long right here in the live blog. Start time is 8:09 p.m.