In Game 2, Farrell took third baseman Rafael Devers out of the lineup against Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, despite the rookie's strong numbers against lefties and his home run potential for a Red Sox team that is starved for power.
You would never know it from the social media vitriol and sports talk radio jabber, which default to blaming Farrell for all of the Red Sox's ills.
Yeah. Here they are, with a chance to catch their breath while they wait to see whether they start the ALCS at home against the Yankees or on the road against the Indians; while they continue to lift a city wounded so gravely by Hurricane Harvey. Then the never-say-die Royals ripping out the Astros' heart - seven runs in the final two innings; hits that kept coming and outs that never appeared - and a magical year evaporating into embarrassment and pain. Bregman tied it before Reddick's single off closer Craig Kimbrel made it 4-3.
"Fine, I felt good", Sale said. "I was looking for it the whole day".
Verlander allowed just one hit: A two-run homer to Andrew Benintendi - the first batter he faced - that gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the fifth. The hope is that Chris Sale can be managed better over the course of the season, Price puts it all together, and Rick Porcello can regain his 2016 form. That's hardly Farrell's fault, and firing him won't solve anything if the Red Sox don't also sign outfielder J.D. Martinez, set to be a free agent this offseason, or pull off a blockbuster for Miami Marlins masher Giancarlo Stanton. "We worked hard. came down to the wire, it was a close game. this one definitely sucks". It's what we work all off-season for. In this case, that is where some controversy arose. "Take a little time off, get back to the drawing board and make another run at it next year". He had six RBIs in the next three games. Dustin Pedroia had a horrific series, frustrated no doubt by the knee injury that had him less than 100% and you could see his frustration boil over in the second inning when he was called out on a questionable third strike and went ballistic on the umpire, needing manager John Farrell to emerge from the dugout to intervene so his second baseman wouldn't get thrown out of the game. "There are a lot of the same guys here that experienced that day".
Verlander entered in the fifth - his first-ever relief appearance - with one out and Bogaerts on first, having walked. Roberto Perez was the catcher for the second straight night rather than Game 2 star Yan Gomes.
The Red Sox had held the lead earlier by taking a page out of Houston's strategy - scoring runs with the long ball. A deeper team with a more prolific offense, and while the Red Sox showed a lot more fight in this series than they did in last year's three game sweep at the hands of Cleveland, their structural flaws were revealed, mainly a tiring of their best pitchers like Sale and Drew Pomeranz, who pitched so poorly in the first two games of the series that drastic measures were needed to stay alive when the series moved to Fenway. He used Eduardo Nunez over Hanley Ramirez as the Game 1 designated hitter, even though Nunez had two at-bats in the past month because of a sprained knee ligament. We have many other ways to create runs, " teammate Jason Kipnis said. He gave up two singles in the seventh, but still came out for the eighth. Yeah, they very well might be in the end. And in the meantime, he finds a way to help us win a game, " Francona said before Game 4. We know we can do this and keep it rolling.