It was a home run derby in Cleveland as the Indian hit three and the Red Box added three more.It all added up to a 5-4 Indians win in Game 1 of the ALDS On Thursday night. Trevor Bauer went 4.2 innings and acceptable three runs for the Indians, and Jason Kipnis went 3-for-4 with a homer. Rick Purcell allowed five runs in 4.1 innings and Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Red Sox. Game 2 is Friday afternoon.
Purcell’s poor start
Rick Purcell has allowed at least one home run in his 17 of his 33 starts this season. That he finished 22–4 with a 3.15 ERA speaks to his ability to limit the damage. On Thursday, that break came fast and early. Roberto Perez hit the first; followed by back-to-back blasts by Jason Kinas and Francisco Landor. It’s the first time Purcell has given up four or more runs in a start since July 24 and he didn’t get past the fifth inning. Purcell, not David Price, has been the Red Sox ace this season. Four runs is about the limit of what he should give up and not have to worry, given the Red Sox nasty prowess. In fact, if the Red Sox opening staff can give up around four runs a game during the playoffs, they have a good chance of a deep run. There are few, if any, tumbling staffs that can slow down the Red Sox offense. But given the bullpen’s struggles, Purcell is going to have to go deeper than the 4.1 innings he threw in Game 1. Of the regular relievers on the ALDS roster, only Brad Ziegler has an ERA less than three. Going to Drew Operand with a messenger on second in the bottom of the fifth is less than ideal—especially when he promptly allows that runner to score.