Joe Maddon had a plan in his back pocket, but he made sure not to tell his starter Jeremy Hellickson.
“I didn’t want to put anything in his head,” Maddon said. “I just wanted him to go out there and play.”
It wasn’t a secret that Hellickson was struggling.
In August, he gave up 21 runs over five starts, going 0-4.
When Hellickson found out that Maddon was going with him to start Game 4, even he was surprised.
By the end of the night, Joe Maddon was all out of contingency plans.
He had burned through nine pitchers, tied for the most in playoff history, including Game 1 starter Matt Moore, somehow sewing together enough arms to at one point take a temporary one-run lead only to fall behind the Red Sox by two insurmountable runs. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.