Although the Red Sox won Game 2 of the ALDS by a huge margin, the pitcher did not go swimming to start the Chris Cell.
Lefty, who was starting his first post-season game in three seasons, lasted just one innings in the divisional round matchup against Tampa Bay. The AL East champions and a year ago World Series runner-up chased the sale with five runs on four hits in the opening frame, including Jordan Lopulo’s Grand Slam.
But despite the sale, two submarines are now starting in a row, including the end of his short season against the Washington Nationals, Red Sox manager Alex Cora has yet to give up.
Cora told WEEI’s Merloni and Fauria Show that the cell will start games for the Sox in its ALDS set against the Houston Astros, starting Friday night.
“It’s still in circulation. It’s going to be a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Kora said.
In fact, the manager added, he was willing to play in the cell to turn off the rays if luck allowed.
“He was probably going to come out on top in the ninth, because the way he was sorted out with the left, there were a lot of good matchups for him,” Cora said. “He’s ready, he’s great. He’s part of the rotation.
The move has put a lot of confidence in the former All-Star, who has hit some recent hurdles in his return to his throwing arm from Tommy John surgery.
After going 5-1 in their first eight from the injury list, the Cells struggled with control against Washington in their final start to 2021, dropping four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings. Then came the catastrophe against the Rays, which could have put the Red Sox in a 0-2 playoff hole in the top five series.
Cora pointed to mechanical problems due to poor performance of the cell, saying the team searched through the video to correct the flaws.
“There was a big movie session two days ago and people were just watching a few things, and hopefully we got it,” the manager said. “From now on, he’s going to be a Chris Cell for us, and he’ll give us a chance to win the Ball Games.”
The sale is unlikely to be a Red Sox Game 1 starter because of the uncertainty surrounding its performance, with Nathan Evaldi or Eduardo Rodriguez likely to go along. Lefty has also struggled against Astros, posting a 7.24 ERA in three post-season games against Houston since 2017.
But a real sale return – or at least the guy who started this season in 7 of 9 of the sixth innings or more – gives the Red Sox a better chance of hitting the Astros and getting it back. ۔ World Series.
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