It is just about 1 hour away from the first pitch of Game 3 of the ALDS. Christian Vazquez sent the fans home happy last night in the 13th inning with a walk-off 2 run homer over the Monster. Both teams had to go deep into their bullpens and even use their projected game 3 starters. Nick Pivetta was absolute nails last night pitching 4 innings allowing just 1 run while striking out 7. Tonight’s starters are Eduardo Rodriguez and Collin McHugh. Both guys are and have been question marks for their respective teams and it will be interesting to see how both managers handle this game going forward. Both lineups have the potential to put up a crooked number in the blink of an eye but, the Sox have one thing going in their favor today. Enter, Rafael Devers.
Why is he all of a sudden a huge factor you ask? It is no question Devers has been playing through some time of arm injury. Every swing he takes you can see him grimace in pain. The Rays have been attacking him with fastballs up in the zone all series and it has worked. The factor today, McHugh cant throw 95+. In fact, he is more of a breaking ball pitcher. This will allow Raffy two scoops to just drop the barrel of the bat to a curveball down in the zone. Now if McHugh does try to sneak one by him up in the zone, that would be a massive mistake and he will be asking for a new ball from the ump.
Devers will be the difference-maker in this game. Don’t get me wrong, McHugh will most likely only face Devers 1 time but that’s ok. The Rays are coming off a defeat in which you could visibly see they were demoralized last night. Kevin Kiermaier said so in his press conference after last night’s game saying “it was a heartbreaker”. Exactly right Kevin, now it’s time for Devers and the Sox to rip your hearts out for good. We have the Rays on the ropes and it’s time to put them away for good. Don’t allow them to get any wind in their sails. That’s where Devers comes in, 1 big at-bat in the first inning very well could swing the momentum to the sox and keep it there. All in all, it’s Devers time. Sox in 4 BABY!!!
(Featured Image credit to nbcsports.com)
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-Kevin Perdios (@kperdios15 on Twitter)