The 29-year-old slugger hasn't exactly destroyed Price during previous matches - he's played to a.208 average and a single home run in his last 24 at-bats against the lefty - but a dominant start from Price is anything but guaranteed as he posted just 1 2/3 innings of three-hit, three-run ball during Game 2 of the ALDS.
He wasn't wrong as the Red Sox had next to no offence (just three hits), were sloppy defensively (sound familiar, Jays fans?) and saw pitchers combined to allow 10 walks and hit three batters. Three relievers kept the 'Stros at bay but luck ran out in the ninth inning when Brandon Workman was roughed up for two home runs that sent the crowd rushing to the exits. If the Astros win the series, it will likely have a lot to do with their third baseman.
When the Astros opened the scoring in the second with a pair of runs off Sale, the rally started with two outs and went like this: Walk, walk, hit by pitch, walk, single.
Veteran MLB umpire Joe West got in the way of an errant throw to second base by the Red Sox catcher, who was attempting to nab an Astros player stealing.
Running away with this one late in the game will only add to their swagger in the short turnaround before Sunday night's Game 2 and their favoured status has only been enhanced by the result of Game 1.
To top it off, secret weapon/manager Alex Cora was ejected by home plate umpire James Hoye for arguing balls and strikes at the end of the fifth inning.
After J.D. Martinez lined out to second base, Xander Bogaerts tapped one back to the mound but Cole airmailed the throw to first, allowing Benintendi to take third and Bogaerts to scamper to second. They both got hit pretty hard.
"No, (we don't talk) about playoffs, but we talk about pitching", Cora said. He surrendered a season-high five runs (four earned) in six innings. That's a whopping 113 fewer than the Red Sox.
I know it's easier said than done, but swing the bat. Jose Altuve is the reigning MVP in the American League. They can see another World Series on the horizon. "But once that happens, then you've got to reset and not relinquish the lead".
"I think knowing what's at stake and having experienced it, I think there's just a great boost of adrenaline that kicks in at this time", Hinch said. This is such a good opportunity for these guys to showcase against the best teams and on the biggest stage and in front of millions and millions of people.
Who will they turn to to get things started? They'll need to pitch better, hit better and field better.
How about David Price.