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ALDS Game 2: David Price’s Fenway Dominance Comes to End

The Red Sox have taken a 2-0 lead in the ALDS after a poor outing by Rays starting pitcher David Price.

ALDS Game Two Recap - Tampa Bay vs. Boston
ALDS Game Two Recap  - Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Oct 5, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price (14) watches the RBI triple of Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew (7) during the fourth inning in game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Fenway Park. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In games one and two of the ALDS, the Boston Red Sox offense has lit up two young, but revered starting pitchers for the Tampa Bay RaysMatt Moore and David Price. Both pitchers have given up seven earned runs a piece to the Boston offense. The Red Sox have outscored the Rays 19-6.

This offensive onslaught should not have come as a surprise as we here at XN Sports have been singing the praises of the balanced, Red Sox hitting lineup. While the Rays are a good, hitting lineup, they’re not as explosive as the Red Sox. Even in our number-centric preview of their Wild Card game between the Cleveland Indians, the edge was given to the Indians on offense. XN’s Igor Derysh brought up the fact that the Rays have struggled for much of the second half of the season and has found scoring runs difficult against Cleveland in his preview of the American League Wild Card game.

It’s not as if Red Sox Game 2 starter, John Lackey was overly dominant against Tampa. He only pitched in 5.1 innings while walking three and giving up four earned runs. However, a closer looks shows that he did a great job keeping the ball on the ground, finishing the game with a Ground Ball Percentage (GB%) of 50%. Lackey also did a great job in frustrating hitters as he forced 20% of Rays’ batters to harmlessly pop-up.

While the Rays couldn’t quite get it going on offense (even though they scored four runs), the Red Sox were finding ways to crush the ball:

RED SOX BATS IN GAME 2

BB%

K%

OPS

ISO

BABIP

wOBA

5.6%

13.9%

1.028

.333

.333

.429

The Rays have sort of picked up the unofficial title of being a “Sabermetrics’ Ball Club,” but it’s the Red Sox that have been the more offensively efficient team in this ALDS. This fact is personified by the two home runs hit by David Ortiz, giving Boston fans more priceless memories of Ortiz belting dingers into the Fenway Park right field stands during the month of October. He would finish the night with a whopping, Isolated Power (ISO) of 1.500.

Also worth noting was Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished the night with an On-Base Percentage of .750 and accounted for almost half of the Red Sox scoring in this game. He stole one base, but Ellsbury showed how a real lead-off hitter should be setting the table for the rest of the lineup.

The real controversy occurred as Rays’ pitcher David Price caught a glimpse of the final analysis of his pitching performance by the TBS broadcast. Not too happy with the criticism of his start (to reiterate, Price did pitch seven innings, but gave up seven hits, two home runs, and seven earned runs), he lashed out against color analysts Tom Verducci and Dirk Hayhurst, even going as far as calling them “nerds.” Since then, the outspoken Price has apologized for losing his temper.

The Rays will enter game three down 0-2.

ALDS Game 3 – Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays – 6:00 PM EST – TBS

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