He is charged with logging another effective outing - that is the baseline requirement.
When the Red Sox are going like this - getting contributions from the entire batting order - they're nearly impossible to defeat, and if the trends keep going that way, Hinch and the Astros will soon see their hope of a World Series repeat disappear. With Houston trailing the best-of-seven series 3-1 and facing elimination, that responsibility is significant, but the series standing doesn't weigh on Verlander or alter his preparation for his start.
"I compare the series to those Saturdays in the late '90s when FSU and Miami played, that there were a lot of first-rounders and a lot of swag and good athletes", Cora said. It's happening right now during a really important series and I just think it's bigger than us.
In a rematch of last year's Division Series opener, when the Astros hit consecutive first-inning homers and pounded Sale for seven runs in all, Verlander improved to 13-2 in the AL playoffs. But he issued four walks and uncorked a critical wild pitch that enabled Boston to tie the score at 2-all.
The same man, who had been issued a credential before the October 8 game in Cleveland, was removed from an area near Boston's dugout for taking photos during Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday, according to a report by Metro Boston and Yahoo Sports. "There are definitely unique challenges".
Cole was 15-5 in the regular season and shut down the Cleveland in Game 2 of the ALDS, when he struck out 12 and walked none to join Hall of Famer Tom Seaver as the only pitchers in postseason history to strike out a dozen or more without walking anyone. Doing such things without technology is surely done by every team in some way, as signs aren't changed often enough and pitchers tip their pitches at times.
But, as you likely know, the controversy did not end there.
"He's feeling better compared to yesterday, but physically he's not there yet", Cora said before Game 4. The middle three games of the World Series would also be played consecutively at either Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles or Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Dombrowski said he was aware of the situation on the day of Game 1, when the Red Sox took a 7-2 loss to the Astros.
Kimbrel retired the first two batters in the ninth, then George Springer hit his second double of the game. Joe Kelly picked up the win in relief as he allowed one earned run on two hits in an inning of work.
As manager Alex Cora came out to get him, Price had an animated talk with his infield on the mound - a pep talk?
However, new technology may have given teams an unfair advantage as the use of high-definition, high-speed cameras allows teams to peer where they couldn't before.
The defending champions came under scrutiny after Cleveland filed a complaint about a man associated with Houston attempting to photograph or video the Indians' dugout last week. David Price will start Thursday night on three days' rest instead.