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.