Fishing for Bass

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Fishing for Bass

After last night, it's silly to bring any sort of pessimism to the Celtics table.

They played their best game in nearly a month. Why not just shut up and enjoy?

And that's what we've done for most of the day, but before I close up shop (remember, I'm retiring tomorrow), there's one concern that's worth mentioning.

Brandon Bass.

Actually, "concern" is too strong of a word at this point. But there's no question that since the playoffs began, Bass has yet to live up to the reliable standard he's set for himself.

The stats tell one story:

Regular Season: 31.7 minutes, 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and shooting .479 in the field.

Playoffs: 31 minutes, 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting .414 from the field

But more than that, Bass just hasn't been present. Do you have any real memories of No. 30 from the first four games of this series? Is there one play, jumper, rebound or defensive stop that sticks out in your mind?

I've got nothing. I know he's scored. I know he's rebounded. I know he's played some great team defensive, but he just hasn't been a factor. And this is a guy who's spent the last six month playing that reliable role for the C's. We've spent the last six months celebrating him for that. For being the rock that Big Baby never could be.

But if there's one thing about Davis, it's that (aside from his last year in Boston) he always steps up when the lights are brightest. The playoff are his time. And again, this season, he's averaging 20 points and 9.5 boards through the Magic's four postseason games.

The Celtics don't need that from Bass. All they need is what he's given (12-14 points, 6-8 boards, .01-.06 assists a night.) Game 5 would be a good time to start delivering.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

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Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

CHICAGO -- Everything was going smoothly until the No. 9 hitter.

Protecting a 1-0 lead in the third inning Monday in his first start of 2017, David Price walked two straight batters with none on and one out in the third inning. Ninth-place hitter Adam Engel walked, as did leadoff man Tim Anderson -- who had drawn just four walks in 181 plate appearances entering the game.

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Price, whose command was in question coming off just two rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, immediately paid for the consecutive free passes.

Melky Cabrera jumped on Price's first pitch, a middle-in fastball, for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead.

The Sox got Price two runs back in the top of the fourth inning, giving him something of a fresh slate with a tie game at 3-3. He took advantage of the second chance, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning and keeping the game tied, and was rewarded when Mookie Betts homered to lead off the fifth and put the Red Sox back on top, 4-3.

He immediately put himself back in hot water by hitting the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth. But two groundballs to the left side -- the second of which, hit by Cabrera, was turned into an inning-ending double play -- got Price and the Sox out of the inning with their lead intact.

Back from an elbow injury, Price was impressive out of the gate in his first major league game since last year's playoffs. He struck out Anderson to begin his season and needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning.

The lefty touched 96 mph on the final pitch of the first inning, which produced an easy groundout to shortstop from first baseman Jose Abreu.

Price was staked to a 1-0 lead before he threw a pitch.

Betts' leadoff double against Chicago's David Holmberg gave way to a run thanks to some great Betts base running. He took third base on Dustin Pedroia's ground out and then scored on a foul pop up that Abreu, the first baseman, snagged in foul territory with a basket catch — a rare sacrifice fly to the first baseman.

Home runs were a big problem for Price last year. So too was the third inning, when he had a 6.03 ERA.

Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

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Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

CHICAGO -- Injury scares are finding Dustin Pedroia in all the wrong places.

The Red Sox second baseman was pulled in the second inning Monday afternoon against the White Sox because of a left wrist sprain, an injury he seemed to suffer on a collision running to first base in the top of the first inning.

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He and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu converged on the bag at the same time on a grounder to Abreu, and Pedroia tumbled over Abreu

Pedroia had season-ending surgery on the wrist in September 2014, addressing a tendon issue. Pedroia had surgery on his left knee this year, and missed time after Manny Machado's slide caught him in that leg in April.

Pedroia during the last homestand was pulled as a precaution because of concern for that leg.

Josh Rutledge took over for Pedroia at second base.