Who walked away from Game 2 with reputation intact?
Game 2 of the World Series is over and it had a very similar result as Game 1 with the Boston Red Sox doubling up the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park. This time, the Red Sox won 4-2.
Clayton Kershaw’s postseason struggles continued for the Dodgers in Game 1. But in Game 2, the Red Sox had two pitchers with their own shaky playoff pasts come through in a big way. For the second day in a row, Los Angeles’ bullpen imploded. And for the second day in a row, Boston’s big-money offseason acquisition came through in a big way for the Red Sox.
These were the biggest winners and losers from Boston’s Game 2 triumph.
Winner: David Price
The Boston lefty was masterful in the ALCS clincher against the Houston Astros. But given his postseason history, it was fair to wonder if Price could do it again. He answered that with a definitive yes in Game 2. And while Price clearly had everything clicking in Game 5 in Houston, he had to grind more in this one. All told, he allowed three hits, three walks, and struck out only five (compared to nine in the ALCS clincher). But when his six innings were done, the Dodgers had scored only two runs and his Red Sox had the lead. You can’t expect anything more than that from a starter in a World Series game.
Loser: Ryan Madson
Madson entered the game in the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead. He entered a jam with the bases loaded. But much like Alex Wood in Game 1, he just needed an out — any kind of out. But also like Wood in Game 1, Madson was unsuccessful. Madson walked Steve Pearce on five pitches (and the one strike was borderline). Then after falling behind to J.D. Martinez, Madson surrendered a two-run single. While Madson has a 0.00 ERA in the World Series, all five of his inherited runners have scored. That’s not simply bad. It’s dismal.
Winner: J.D. Martinez
Pearce’s bases loaded walk hurt the Dodgers. But Martinez’s two-run single was an absolute crusher. Los Angeles took its first lead of the entire series in the fourth inning of Game 2. Less than two innings later, the lead was not only gone, but Boston was back on top. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played in this Fall Classic. But through the first two games, Martinez is the pretty clear MVP. He’s not only driven in four runs, but Martinez has hit .429/.500/.571 over the first two games, and he was robbed of an extra-base hit in the eighth inning of Game 2. He’s giving the Red Sox what they paid for in the offseason.
Loser: Enrique Hernandez
The Dodgers rely a lot on matchups and platoons. So, when the Red Sox started the World Series with Chris Sale and then Price, it meant that Hernandez would be in the lineup in each of the first two games at Fenway. Those games are over and to put it midly, they were a struggle for Hernandez. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Game 1. Then, before getting lifted for Max Muncy in Game 2, Hernandez was 0-for-2 with another strikeout. Hernandez is in the lineup because of favorable offensive matchups. That makes it kind of hard to ignore an 0-for-6 with strikeouts in half of the at-bats.
Winner: Andrew Benintendi
The fifth inning played a big role in Game 2’s result. Benintendi prolonged the rally in the bottom of the fifth by working an eight-pitch walk against Hyun-Jin Ryu. That brought Madson into the game for his aforementioned blowup. In the top half of the inning, Brian Dozier hit a liner to left field that appeared destined to be a leadoff extra-base hit. But Benintendi made a beautiful leaping grab in front of the Green Monster (watch here). Price retired the next two hitters to keep the game at 2-1. The rest is history.
Loser: Justin Turner
After going 3-for-5 in Game 1, Turner was a dreadful 0-for-4 with one strikeout in Game 2. Who knows how different this game would have been for Los Angeles if Turner could have reached even once? It certainly would have been nice for the Dodgers to have David Freese and Manny Machado hitting with Turner on base. Turner is one of the few Los Angeles players who doesn’t platoon. He’s out there every day for the Dodgers. His day in Game 2 was certainly one to forget.
Winner: Craig Kimbrel
Kimbrel had a disastrous postseason entering the World Series. He was decent in the ALCS clincher but it was fair to wonder if that turnaround was real, or just a fluke. Through two games, it appears very real. Kimbrel had a 1-2-3 ninth in Game 1, striking out two. He didn’t strike anyone out in Game 2, but was again perfect in a game where Los Angeles needed only the proverbial “bloop and a blast” to tie things up. Kimbrel was a question mark heading into the World Series. But through two games, Boston has to feel very good about its closer.