Rain, rain, go away.
For the second time in as many days, a division series was postponed due to mother nature. The NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals resumed Sunday, but the ALDS at Fenway didn’t, leaving the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians as the other teams eagerly waiting to get back on the field. With the Indians leading the series 2-0 and Game 3 set for Monday, here are three ways the rain delay could affect both teams.
Porcello, Price pitching on 5 days rest if necessary
If the Red Sox are to live another day with the help of Game 3 starter Clay Buchholz, they will need Rick Porcello and David Price to be ready on extra rest. That could pose a challenge, as the losers of Game 1 and 2 have struggled on the mound after five days’ rest this season, authoring a combined 4.50 ERA and 13 home runs allowed in 17 starts.
Usage of Cleveland’s bullpen
With starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar out with injuries, the Indians have relied heavily on their impressive bullpen, which has allowed only one earned run in six innings of action. With a thin starting rotation, manager Terry Francona will need his bullpen to be at its best for three straight games, which is no easy feat. Reliever Andrew Miller, fresh off a four-inning shutout performance in Game 2, has been fantastic this season on limited rest, pitching to a 0.86 ERA with only two walks and 31 strikeouts in consecutive appearances.
The momentum myth
There’s no proof momentum is an actual thing, or a factor that can even be affected by weather, but at the very least it gives both teams more time to reflect on their performance. The layoff could help the Red Sox psyche, a group that held a player’s only meeting and claimed a loss of identity after being blanked 6-0 in Game 2.