Red Sox

First impressions: Porcello puts Red Sox in early hole

First impressions: Porcello puts Red Sox in early hole

CLEVELAND -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-4 loss to the Indians in ALDS Game 1 at Progressive Field. 

* Few could have seen Rick Porcello's meltdown coming.

Porcello was the picture of consistency during the season, routinely pitching into the seventh inning or beyond.
What's more, pitching in Fenway and in the A.L. East, he limited the long ball. Over his past seven starts, covering 50 1/3 innings, he allowed just three homers.
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Then, in one ghastly inning Thursday night, he yielded three homers in the span of four batters -- all of them to right field.
The problem wasn't hard to determine -- he left fastballs up in the zone on every one of them.
And just like, a pitching matchup that heavily seemed to favor the Red Sox -- Porcello vs. Trevor Bauer - flipped the other way.  


* Drew Pomeranz proved useful out of the bullpen.

The Red Sox were excited by what they saw from Pomeranz in relief Sunday, and made the decision to put him in the pen for the postseason.
He was called upon in the fifth after Porcello had put the Sox in a 4-2 hole. He quickly allowed a single to plate an inherited runner, but he went on to retire 7 of the next 10 hitters he faced, including five by strikeout.
Most important for the Sox was that he chewed up 2 1/3 innings in the middle of the game, enabling the rest of the bullpen to be preserved.
Ostensibly, Pomeranz is the team's situational lefty in the absence of another option

* The Red Sox outfield play cost them.

Jackie Bradley Jr. made a terrific catch to end the fateful third, leaping to take extra bases away from Jose Ramirez.
But Bradley also made two poor throws home.
In the second, with Ramirez on second base, Lonnie Chisenhall lined a single to center. Somewhat surprisingly with no out, the  Indians sent Ramirez. Bradley had the benefit of charging the ball and was in shallow center, lined up perfectly for a throw home.
But his throw was far up the first base line, as Ramirez slid in safely.
It was more of the same in the fifth, when Ramirez had a shot to cut down Roberto Perez, but once again, the throw home was off line.
Bradley wasn't alone. Rookie Andrew Benintendi was a little too casual in tracking down a fly ball in the fifth, not setting himself as Perez moved from first base to second, from where he later scored.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.