LOS ANGELES — Left scrambling from that 18-inning Game 3, the Red Sox will turn to lefty Eduardo Rodriguez to start Game 4 of the World Series against the Dodgers on Saturday.
The 25-year-old during the regular season pitched to a 3.82 ERA/114 ERA+ and 3.24 K/BB ratio in 23 starts and four relief appearances. Rodriguez has worked exclusively as a reliever in the postseason, and he’s appeared out of the bullpen in Games 1 and 3 of this series. On Friday night, he faced only one batter and threw just six pitched — following a three-pitch workload in Game 1 — so he’s comparatively rested. Rodriguez throws five pitches and leans primarily on a fastball and changeup.
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Under normal circumstances, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi would’ve started Game 4 for Boston, but he of course authored a legendary effort in relief in Game 3. He’s probably not going to see the mound again unless the series goes back to Boston. For a while, it seemed Alex Cora would tab Drew Pomeranz to start Game 4, but Pomeranz hasn’t started in some time and hasn’t been effective this season. Rodriguez very likely gives the Red Sox the best chance to win. As well, the Dodger offense this season has been much less effective against left-handed pitching.
After that seven-hour-plus Game 3 that stretched into Saturday morning even on the West Coast, Cora had no ideal answers for Game 4. He has, however, likely landed upon the best answer.
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