The Boston Red Sox will turn to Eduardo Rodriguez to start Game 4 of the World Series following an 18-inning marathon that depleted their pitching staff.
We wasn’t their first choice but right now Eduardo Rodriguez is the best option to start Game 4 of the World Series for the Boston Red Sox.
This was supposed to be Nathan Eovaldi‘s turn but that plan was scratched when the right-hander was needed for 6+ innings to finish the 18-inning loss in Game 3. That left the Red Sox scrambling to find a replacement.
Starting Chris Sale on three-days rest would be a risky choice given his issues with shoulder inflammation throughout he second half of the season and his recent hospital trip due to a stomach bug. Drew Pomeranz, despite warming up late in Game 3, remains a break glass in case of emergency option.
The Red Sox used nine pitchers last night in a game that set an MLB record for the longest in postseason history. Rick Porcello got the start but lasted only 4 2/3 innings. Rodriguez relieved him but faced only one batter, striking out lefty Joc Pederson to end the fifth. David Price recorded a couple of outs in the ninth and Eovaldi delivered a heroic performance despite taking the loss. Four of Boston’s top five starters appeared in the game, plus every one of their relief options outside of Pomeranz.
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Now they are forced to count on Rodriguez to eat some innings while giving the team a chance to win with an exhausted bullpen backing him up. That will be even more difficult to pull off than it sounds.
Rodriguez was converted into a reliever at the end of the regular season. He hasn’t pitched more than two innings in any appearance since lasting 3 2/3 in a start against the New York Yankees on September 20. He pitched 6+ innings only once in the second half of the season. Don’t expect Rodriguez to give the Red Sox that type of workload tonight no matter how much they need him to.
Rodriguez owns an unsightly 6.23 ERA this postseason but all three runs he’s allowed came in one appearance against the New York Yankees in the ALDS. He has provided 2 2/3 scoreless innings over five appearances since.
Manager Alex Cora will have his hands full trying to piece together at least nine innings from this pitching staff. A solid effort from Rodriguez would go a long way toward giving the Red Sox a chance.
Boston needs someone to step up and be an unexpected hero to win a Game 4 on the road with the odds stacked against them. It may be too much to ask Rodriguez to be that hero but he’s capable of pitching well enough to keep his team in the game, giving one of his teammates the chance to save the day.