Eduardo Rodriguez will get a shot at redemption Monday night, and it could send the Boston Red Sox on in the Major League Baseball playoffs.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Sunday night Rodriguez is the likely Boston starter as it looks to end the American League Division Series in Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
Rodriguez had a rough showing in Game 1 of the series down in St. Petersburg. The left-hander couldn’t make it out of the second inning, allowing two runs on two hits while also walking a pair before Cora finally pulled the plug. Boston went on to lose that game 5-0, but the Red Sox have won the two games since and have a chance to clinch at home Monday.
Nick Pivetta was the previously scheduled Game 4 starter, but his incredible relief performance Sunday night took him out of consideration.
The Rays, meanwhile, have a decision to make. MLB.com currently has “TBD” listed as Tampa Bay’s probable starter, which is a reflection of manager Kevin Cash’s postgame comments. He didn’t tip his hand, but the Rays are looking at a bullpen game after having to use Luis Patiño in Sunday night’s 13-inning marathon.
The Rays used nine different pitchers in Game 3, but Cash is confident his relief corps can bounce back in a must-win situation with the season on the line.
“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of discussions into the night and into (Monday),” Cash told reporters after the game Sunday night. “Confident that everybody threw one or one-plus (inning) is fine to bounce right back. We’ve got (Collin) McHugh down there who didn’t pitch, (Michael) Wacha, who didn’t pitch, and we’ll find a way to piece it together.”
Given their backgrounds, paired with the fact Cash mentioned them by name, McHugh or Wacha seem like options to kick off a bullpen game. Both veteran right-handers spent the bulk of their careers as starters but have primarily been used out of the Tampa Bay bullpen.
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