Now there’s something to hang your hat on.
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
A win puts the Sox in the big dance with the Cardinals, who clinched last night.
Scherzer smashed the Sox last time to the tune of 13 strikeouts and 1 run in 7 before Papi’s singular significant (but oh boy, was it) contributon thus far in this ALCS undid all of Max’s good work. In Game 2, Buchholz was fine before he suddenly wasn’t and the Sox were in a hole they barely managed to climb out of (seriously, they were about to be down 2-0 and staring at Verlander, which they will be for Game 7 if they lose today). Clay has a chance today at redemption for two average to poor playoff outings thus far (the 3-run shot to Longoria is the other stain on his October resume).
The Sox’ bats have come to life in the last two games (if those 12 hits are bunched differently in Game 4, this series could be over). Hope it stays that way. And may we brim with the emotion and enthusiasm of Koji Uehara when this game ends! Comment away.
Friday, October 18th, 2013
Thursday, October 17th, 2013
The winner of this contest won’t win the series, but they’ll have a distinct advantage, that’s for sure. Will it be Anibal Sanchez or Jon Lester or one of their assorted supporting cast that tips this game and this series heavily in one direction? Game 6 is on Saturday afternoon, and someone will be in position to win the series then. Go Sox. Comment away.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Only one starter (Buchholz) has really spit the bit this series. Everyone else has given up 0 runs or 1. Today will probably see a bit of a change there with Doug Fister and Jake Peavy climbing the hill. Fister threw 7 shutout innings in a 3-0 Detroit victory at Fenway in September where Lackey was the hard-luck loser (the one game the Tigers won in that series), and was the beneficiary of approximately 4,000 DP balls that day (fine, 3). The Sox have been held down so long, though, in this series, by incredible starting pitching, that I feel like they’re due for a breakout against slightly-less-awesome starting pitching (the Sox are lucky to be up 2-1 in the series given their cold bats/Detroit’s hot starters, thanks to the work of the pen and John Lackey). Hopefully Peavy can continue to rework his playoff postseason reputation/stats and throw another nice little game in the visitor’s park, but I’d bet on more than a run being scored on both starters. Are Bres/Taz/Koji all available for the same number of outs as yesterday? Will they be relevant or will this game be very different in tone?
The Red Sox have scored in a grand total of 4 innings in this series’ 27 (and only more than one run once). The Tigers have scored in 3 (again, one multi-run inning). The Red Sox have four run-scoring events in the series (Pedey RBI double, Ortiz slam, Salty walkoff single, Napoli homer)…the Tigers have five (Peralta single, Avila single, Cabrera homer, Martinez double, Avila homer).
Detroit’s starters have allowed 2 runs in 21 innings to go with 6 hits, 9 walks, and 35 strikeouts (!). I repeat: Boston is leading this series 2 games to 1.
Detroit pen: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 5 R (includes Procello’s 0 outs in the 9th inning of Game 2, all the runs were in Game 2).
Boston pen: 8 1/3 IP, 5 H, 6 BB, 7 K, 0 R (4 of the walks belong to Breslow, 2 in each appearance).
Tazawa’s strikeout of best-hitter-in-the-game Cabrera with 1 out and runners at the corners was the play of yesterday’s game (honorable mentions: Lackey’s strikeout of Infante with 1 out and Peralta at 3rd, and Napoli’s homer).
Will it be a 2-2 tie or will the Sox grab a strong 3-1 grip on the series? All I know is, they can win it in Detroit, but the worst-case scenario is Game 6 at Fenway. And that is nice. Comment away.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Verlander is not invincible, and is probably the 3rd-best starter on Detroit right now, but he is a potent weapon and usually doesn’t budge in the postseason until the World Series, where he has let down significantly at times. But we’re in the ALCS…and we’re counting on a John Lackey who has stumbled mightily in his last few starts.
A win for the Red Sox would guarantee that, at worst, the series go back to Fenway. If the Tigers run the table in Detroit, Boston’s dream dies. This is a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig game. Comment away.
Sunday, October 13th, 2013
One of the great things about this Red Sox team is they don’t seem to carry over any negativity from a loss into their next game. And after being 1-hit and losing 1-0, they’re going to need all the positivity they can get when Cy Young winner Scherzer (sure, it’s not official yet, but let’s be real here) takes on Buchholz at the Fens. The Sox need this game for any realistic shot in this series. Let’s see if they can get it. Comment away.
Saturday, October 12th, 2013
All things considered, these are the two best teams in the AL this year, and the matchup is well-earned. Anibal Sanchez (who has the lowest season ERA of any AL starter who qualified, soundly beating Scherzer and Verlander, SCARY) takes on Jon Lester in the first face-off at Fenway Park. I feel like the Sox are a slightly better team (the Sox lineup and bullpen are certainly stronger than Detroit’s, particularly with injured Miggy, while the Sox rotation is almost certainly weaker than DET’s), but it’s the playoffs, nothing will come easy, and whoever wins will earn it once again. I’m just glad it’s a 7-game series so the best team is more likely to win: let’s find out who that really is. Comment away.
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Who do you want to face the Sox? SFs? YFs? I don’t think I can honestly say I prefer one team over the other. The Tigers’ starters are scary (Scherzer/Verlander/Sanchez are all doing really well this year), but Oakland’s are no pushover. What we want doesn’t matter much in the end; what matters is what happens when Verlander takes on Gray, a rematch of the pitching duel in Game 2 that ended with an Oakland walkoff 1-0 win. Time for some hearts to break. The winner comes to Fenway on Saturday. Comment.
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
With an honorable mention to the Orioles for their part in the 2011 debacle (and pretty much owning the Red Sox since), it’s safe to say that the Yankees and Rays have dealt the worst blows to the Red Sox from 2008-2012 (2008′s ALCS loss to the Rays in 7 games and 2011′s ultra-squander to the Rays, completed when the Yankees folded late against the Rays in Game 162, being the biggest examples).
This year the Red Sox went 13-6 against the Yankees in the regular season and played a significant part in showing the Yankees the door in September…the Yankees got as close as 1 game back of the second wild card after the games of 9/12, but were 3 back after that weekend’s series at Fenway and never got closer than 2.5 after that. They went 1-6 against the Red Sox in September.
The Red Sox went 15-8 against the Rays this season, including postseason play (12-7 in the reggalah), and didn’t just show them the door, but grabbed them by the collar and kicked them through it. And all this after the Rays’ heroic efforts in what turned out to be three subsequent elimination games leading to an ALDS match with the AL’s best team (by record and run differential).
Honestly, I’d love to win it all, but coming in the wake of 2011/2012 and as redemption for those seasons and the painful loss in 2008…this has already been a supreme season. I look forward to seeing where it goes, but today I am utterly content. There’s a game each of the next three days to enjoy from our lofty perch (PIT-STL, DET-OAK, NLCS 1) while we wait for the show to continue on Saturday; Lester gets ALCS Game 1 instead of an elimination game this Thursday, while our eventual ALCS opponent will hopefuly wear themselves out on Thursday, and all is right with the world.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
I suppose I was kinda asking for it with the thread title and the Koji-fawning yesterday. If you believe in that sort of thing. I do not. What I do believe is that Peavy will pitch better than Hellickson tonight, though I would expect Moore and Archer to be ready to take over if Hellickson gets in trouble early, which he probably will because the Sox are pretty awesome at the bounceback. I expect the offense to be better, I expect the defense to be better, and I expect the Sox to win. That’s pretty much it. Comment if you got ‘em.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Of the four division series, the TB-BOS one is the only one that can end in a sweep. The attendant downtime might be useful to the team with the guy with a broken foot (Ellsbury), the guy with a tweaky back who is banged up otherwise (Victorino), the guy who says putting his foot down is like stepping on an ice pick (Napoli), the guy who basically never took a day off till the 1-seed was sewn up (Pedroia) and the elder statesman with chronic leg and heel issues (Ortiz). It’s not as though rust seems to have hurt them in the first few ALDS games anyway. Put the Rays away. As much as I didn’t want it to be the Rays, it’s that much more fun that the Sox are wrecking a good team and their tremendous lefty starters thus far.
Otherwise off-topic, can I just mention how utterly dominant Uehara was Saturday? I now have the very faintest idea of what it was like for Yankees fans to watch Rivera jog in for the 9th (if you think I’m blaspheming, YFs, check out Uehara’s game logs for the year, particularly the final 3 months of the season, and then watch the replay of his 9th inning on Saturday). If it’s a close game and he’s up to it, he should absolutely come in for the final two innings of this one to shut it down and rest for the better part of a week (ALCS 1, whoever is in it, will be on Saturday).
Maddon claimed his team was “out-Fenwayed” in Game 2 of the series. Uhhhhh, okay, Joe…pretty sure the DPs and Papi blasts would have been the same in any park. Here’s your team’s chance to prove that in your own venue, it will go better. Buchholz (arguably the Sox’ best pitcher, including in September, and Rays kryptonite personified in his lifetime stats) takes on Cobb, who the Sox have done relatively well against all year. If Buchholz pitches up to his own ability…hoo boy, but still miles to go before we sleep. Comment away.
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
I know I laughed heartily yesterday. But the first victory means little on its own: MLB informs me that the winner of Game 1 in the ALDS has only gone on to win 21 of 36 such ALDS series–an advantage, but not a decisive one. And they don’t give bonus points for a rout.
So today’s a whole new ballgame as David Price (who has positively owned the Red Sox in his last few outings against them, including twice at Fenway) takes on John Lackey (who is a much better pitcher at Fenway this year than on the road). Who laughs last today? Who laughs last in the series? It’s sports–we don’t know! Stay tuned and find out. Comment away.
Friday, October 4th, 2013
It’s been 4 years since the Red Sox were in the playoffs and 5 since they won a postseason game. One streak ends this afternoon for sure (weather permitting); we can only hope the 5-year streak ends as well. I want blood. F*ck the Rays; those scumbags need some payback for ’08.
So it’s time for your stomach to swoop and your head to spin as every game, every inning, every pitch takes on magnified meaning. Savor the fear, savor the joy–it’s October baseball. Comment away.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013