BOSTON (CBS) — In a surprising move, Red Sox manager Alex Cora named Chris Sale the Game 1 starter for Boston’s ALCS showdown against the Houston Astros. When the two teams start the series on Friday night, sales will hit rubber in Houston.
Cora also announced on Thursday that Nathan Eovaldi will start in Game 2.
Sale struggled with his last two starts, only 2.1 innings against the Washington Nationals in the regular season finale, then just one inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in ALDS Game 2. Solak, St. He allowed five runs in the first half in St. Petersburg, including a grand slam for Rays first goalkeeper Jordan Luplow after Boston gave him a 2-0 lead. He withdrew from Boston’s must-win final in Washington DC after walking a run at the top of the third round, the third free pass of the day. He allowed a double run in that short lap where Boston won 7-5 in a late game rally.
These struggles have led many to believe that Sale will come out of the bullfight to kick off the ALCS. But Cora goes with the senior ace in Game 1, optimistic that her adjustments since Sale’s last debut will lead to good things on Friday night’s mound.
“The discount,” Cora said. “We’re very comfortable with him leaving tomorrow.”
Houston left-handed Framber Valdez will oppose the sale. He beat Boston twice during the regular season and had 18 innings while allowing for just two wins in 14.1 innings.
Many believed that Eovaldi would bring the ball to Boston in Game 1, but will now be on the field on Saturday afternoon. After stabilizing the roster during the regular season, Eovaldi remains Boston’s best starting player in the postseason. In two playoff starts (Boston’s Wild Card win over the Yankees and Game 3 against Tampa Bay), the right side allowed just three laps in seven innings and just one walk in 10.1 innings, making 16 innings during that time. It nailed as much as they came as an end-of-season start.
He wasn’t all that good in his first start against Houston in the regular season. He started at Fenway Park on June 9 against the Astros, and for five runs of 11 innings – the most innings Eovaldi has allowed all season – over 5.2 innings and all three walks. Boston lost that game 8-3.
But it NS He kicked off great, Game 3 against the Astros in the 2018 ALCS in Houston, and scored a six-shot two-stroke as Boston took a 2-1 series lead with an 8-2 win. Eovaldi came off the court a few nights later, keeping Houston off the board to help the Red Sox take a 4-1 win in 1.1 innings and clinch the series.