The Real McCoy

Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy shares his thoughts on the Cincinnati Reds
Caption

World Series: What you need to know about Red Sox victory in Game 2

Boston up 2-0 as series shifts to Los Angeles

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, seeing all the fans in Fenway Park wrapped in ski masks and hoodies as if they were watching a downhill slalom. Several players wore the same gear in the 40-degree weather, even the Boston Red Sox, who should be used to it. The Los Angles Dodgers didn’t play a regular season game in temperatures below 58. They played two games in the 50s in San Francisco, about which Mark Twain wrote, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

—The Boston Red Sox are galloping through the Los Angeles Dodgers like the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

They are up two games to none in the 2018 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.

It was pitching and two-out hits that carried the day. Starter David Price held LA to two runs and three hits over six innings, then bullpenners Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrell each pitched perfect innings as 16 straight Dodgers were retired at the end of the game.

All four Red Sox runs came on two-out hits and nine of the 12 runs scored by Boston have come with two outs.

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—Once again, with a left hander (David Price) pitching for Boston, LA manager Dave Robers started an entire lineup of right-handed batters. That means he had 109 home runs sitting on the bench, left handers Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal.
—David Price threw first-pitch strikes to five of the first six LA hitters and the only one he didn’t, David Freese, drew a two-out walk in the first.

—Boston hitters hope they get to hit with two outs and runners on base. All eight starters hit .330 or higher with runners in scoring position during the season.

And they’ve carried it into the postseason. More than half Boston’s runs in the postseason have scored on two-out hits. They struck again in the second inning Wednesday, a tw0-out single by Ian Kinsler that gave Boston a 1-0 lead.

—Price took a no-hitter (two walks) into the fourth before David Freese and Manny Machado opened with singles. Price walked Chris Taylor on a full count to fill the bases with no outs.

The Dodgers cashed in with two runs. Matt Kemp hit a sacrifice fly. Kike Hernandez (3 for 32 in the postseason with 13 strikeouts, struck out on a 3-and-2 pitch, the ninth pitch of the at bat. Then LA displayed some two-out magic of their own when Yasiel Puig singled home a run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

—Cincinnati-born Andrew Benitendi was only the third player in Red Sox history to have four hits in a postseason game in Game 1. And he showed the other side in the fifth inning of Game 2. Brian Dozier led the inning with a zinging line drive to left. Benintendi, after a long run, made a scissors-legged catch just before running into the wall.

—The incredible two-out modus operandi worked again for the Red Sox in the fifth. This time they scored three runs with two outs and nob0dy on base.

It began with singles by No. 9 hitter/catcher Christian Vasquez and Mookie Betts. When LA starter Hyun-Jin Ryu walked Benitendi to fill the bases, he was finished.

Ryan Madson came in and walked Steve Pearce on five pitches to force in a run and J.D. Martinez drove a two-run single to right for two runs and a 4-2 Boston lead.

—After Puig’s single gave LA a 2-1 lead, Price retired seven straight while his teammates gave him a 4-3 lead.

He was replaced in the seventh by right hander Joe Kelly in the seventh and LA’s stream of left handed pinch-hitters began. It didn’t matter. Kelly pitched a 1-2-3 inning and struck out both left handed pinch-hitters, Max Muncy and Yasmani Grandal.

—After Price left, the Dodgers went meekly into the cold night. The last 16 made outs. Price retired seven straight, followed by three straight by Joe Kelly, three straight by Nathan Eovaldi and three straight by closer Craig Kimbrell for his fifth save in five opportunities in the post-season.

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