This wasn't how they drew it up at the start of the season. No, not even in their wildest dreams did the Red Sox imagine this would be how it all played out in September.
They had invested almost $90 million in their starting rotation. They had re-signed Nathan Eovaldi and they had extended Chris Sale.
While seemingly every other team was focusing on their bullpen, the Red Sox were going decidedly old school, putting their money on the starters.
And to make sure that those starters would be in peak form for the stretch run, they mapped out a spring training plan to bring them along slowly, saving pitches and arms in the process.
Or so they thought.
Never in a million years did the Sox envision that for the start of a four-game series with the Yankees, they would have to go with a bullpen game. Never did they think that they would use seven different pitchers -- not a single one of them, incidentally, part of the team's Opening Day roster -- to beat the Yankees, 6-1.