To open their league championship series, the Red Sox and Houston Astros are sticking with their rotation from the ALDS.
Aces Justin Verlander and Chris Sale will battle it out Saturday in Game 1, while Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole and Sox lefty David Price will take the mound Sunday for Game 2. Both bouts will take place at Fenway Park.
Manager Alex Cora opted to stick with Price, despite his poor outing against the Yankees in Game 2 of the ALDS. In 1⅔ innings, Price threw 42 pitches (24 strikes), struck out no batters, and gave up three earned runs. Cora is confident, however, the pitching staff has identified the necessary tweak that needs to be made, addressing an issue dating back to Price’s final regular-season start on Sept. 30.
“I do feel, with that adjustment, he’ll be back to the guy that pitched in the middle of the summer, and he is going to dominate and be a huge part of what we do,” Cora said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni, & Fauria” Wednesday afternoon.
Price finished the season with an 11-2 record with a 2.72 ERA. He started two games (one win, one no-decision) against the Astros during the regular season, pitching 12⅓ innings, striking out 17, and allowing five runs. His opponent, Cole, posted similar stats in his two starts (one win, one no-decision) against the Sox, pitching 13 innings, striking out 15, and allowing five runs.
“The way [Price] pitched against [the Astros] this year, he matches up real well against them,” Cora said.