|DETROIT ( SCHERZER )|
BOSTON ( BUCHHOLZ )
|AL Championship Series - Best of 7 - Game 2 - DET leads 1-0|
|907||DETROIT||-105||Ov 7.5,+105||+110||Ov 7,-115|
|908||BOSTON||-105||Un 7.5,-125||-120||Un 7,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||69-48||+0.6||56-57||4.9||0.287||0.345||3.7||0.241||0.300|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||0||2-5||2.6||0.209||0.264||2.3||0.189||0.261|
|vs Right-handed Starters||65-45||+11||54-52||5.3||0.276||0.346||4.2||0.249||0.314|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.6||5-2||5.3||0.274||0.354||3.7||0.259||0.323|
|9/29/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ MIAMI||ALVAREZ(R)||0-1||L||-170||7 un||U||0||3||1||6||7||1|
|10/4/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||3-2||W||-115||6.5 ov||U||10||6||0||3||4||1|
|10/5/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRAY(R)||0-1||L||-110||7 un||U||4||5||0||8||10||0|
|10/10/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRAY(R)||3-0||W||100||6.5 un||U||8||9||0||3||5||0|
|10/12/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ BOSTON||LESTER(L)||1-0||W||125||7.5 ov||U||9||12||0||1||8||1|
|10/13/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)|| |
|9/29/2013||WEBSTER(R)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)||6-7||L||135||8.5 un||O||13||9||0||10||8||1|
|10/4/2013||LESTER(L)||TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)||12-2||W||-140||7.5 ov||O||14||8||0||4||5||0|
|10/5/2013||LACKEY(R)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||7-4||W||-105||7.5 un||O||11||5||0||8||7||1|
|10/7/2013||BUCHHOLZ(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||4-5||L||100||7 un||O||7||9||0||11||9||1|
|10/8/2013||PEAVY(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||3-1||W||-120||7.5 un||U||6||10||0||6||3||0|
|10/15/2013||LACKEY(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|10/16/2013||PEAVY(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)|| |
|DETROIT: HITTING: OF AUSTIN JACKSON doesn't make much contact, but manager Jim Leyland likes his speed in the leadoff spot. RYAN RABURN and RAMON SANTIAGO will split second base duties, with Raburn getting the majority of the starts. 3B MIGUEL CABRERA seems to have cleaned up his act. He's an MVP candidate. So is newcomer 1B PRINCE FIELDER who will try to keep slugging in his move to a pitchers' park. His presence was needed after DH VICTOR MARTINEZ was lost for the season with a knee injury. OF DELMON YOUNG is a pending free agent, and he hit well after escaping spacious Target Field. He'll nab the starting LF job but could also DH. OF BRENNAN BOESCH did enough pre-injury to earn an everyday role, but he'll again be in danger of fading over the summer. SS JHONNY PERALTA had a resurgence in 2011, and he's on the right side of 30. C ALEX AVILA might not hit for average, but his power is legit. Leyland favorite BRANDON INGE and DON KELLY will back up the All-Star corner infielders, so neither expect to get much playing time. Streaky OF ANDY DIRKS is a fourth outfielder. C GERALD LAIRD will spell Avila. |
STARTING PITCHING: You can't expect an identical stat line for JUSTIN VERLANDER; his opponent .236 batting average on balls in play suggests there was some luck involved in his MVP season. But he's still the best pitcher in the American League by a wide margin. DOUG FISTER's improved strikeout rate with the Tigers suggests he could sustain success as a quality No. 2 starter. MAX SCHERZER can still be outstanding when he's on, but he was inconsistent again last year. He could figure it out in his late-20s, but time is running out. RICK PORCELLO still has a ways to go. His mid-season success came against some weak lineups. He's still only 23, but he hasn't been able to beat hitters at any level in the pros. The Tigers are still searching for a No. 5 starter. Top prospect JACOB TURNER is only 20, but the Tigers haven't been shy about fast-tracking young arms. He was dominant in the minors, but torched in his first big-league stint. ANDY OLIVER appears to be the front-runner for this role, but DREW SMYLY is also a possibility.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOSE VALVERDE was perfect in 2011, but it was a surprising development considering his sliding K/BB ratio. For Tigers fans, he carries more risk than 49-for-49 would suggest. One of baseball's better set-up men, JOAQUIN BENOIT is an eighth-inning-only guy. He'd take over if Valverde got hurt. OCTAVIO DOTEL is another elite set-up man who will step up as the seventh-inning guy. As good as AL ALBURQUERQUE was in the regular season (one extra-base hit'a double'allowed in 43.1 innings!), he's out until at least the All-Star break after offseason elbow surgery. Lefty DANIEL SCHLERETH has a chance to be the closer of the future, but first he'll need to cut down on the walks.
|BOSTON: HITTING: OF JACOBY ELLSBURY's 2011 breakout was no fluke. He has real power to complement his elite speed. 2B DUSTIN PEDROIA bounced back from a slow start to finish with career highs in HR and RBI. He benefits from hitting behind Ellsbury. 3B KEVIN YOUKILIS is a huge injury risk. His best seasons are behind him. 1B ADRIAN GONZALEZ wasted no time winning over Boston fans last year, and should hit even more HR in 2012. DH DAVID ORTIZ has put together two straight impressive years after being left for dead in 2009. 2011 Super Bust OF CARL CRAWFORD will bounce back, just not as much as most experts think. Most of the catcher duties will go to C JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA, with C KELLY SHOPPACH getting ABs against lefties. Right field will be filled by former Giants playoff hero CODY ROSS. SS NICK PUNTO replaces Marco Scutaro, who is now in Colorado. 3B MIKE AVILES is a solid hitter with the defensive flexibility to end up with semi-regular ABs. |
STARTING PITCHING: JON LESTER seems to have leveled off as a very good pitcher instead of ascending into an elite class. He lost some speed on his pitches and got hit a little harder in 2011. Coming off the best season of his up-and-down career, JOSH BECKETT's numbers are bound to regress a bit in 2012. Back problems limited CLAY BUCHHOLZ last season, and he lost some of the zip on his fastball. He'll tally a low ERA and 15+ wins if he can stay healthy. ALFREDO ACEVES was outstanding out of the bullpen last year, and will compete for a rotation spot this year. He was a starter for years in the Mexican League and the minors. Former setup man DANIEL BARD is being converted to a starter, but he may wind up back in the bullpen later on. After Tommy John surgeries, DAISUKE MATSUZAKA is due to return around July, while JOHN LACKEY won't be back until 2013.
RELIEF PITCHING: ANDREW BAILEY was a acquired from Oakland in December for a heap of prospects. He's one of the best closers in baseball, and may even be an upgrade from departed Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth. Time will tell how he'll handle the increased scrutiny of playing in Boston. Coming over in a trade for infielder Jed Lowrie, MARK MELANCON was excellent as a closer last season in Houston and should be Bailey's main set-up man in the eighth inning. BOBBY JENKS has ninth-inning experience, but he will be out at least two months coming off a pulmonary embolism.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (DETROIT-BOSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates throughout. With AP Photos.)
*Tigers-Red Sox Preview* ========================
By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer
Detroit (93-69) at Boston (97-65), 8:07 p.m. EDT
BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox were able to relax as they watched Justin Verlander finish Oakland off in the playoffs, secure in the knowledge that they wouldn't have to face him in Game 1 of the AL championship series.
Instead, they get the league's ERA champion, Anibal Sanchez.
Followed by Max Scherzer, the major league leader in wins.
And then comes Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and MVP.
"I don't think there are really any consolation prizes when you're playing them," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said on Friday, when the teams worked out in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS. "All their guys are really good. ... All their guys are horses."
A former Red Sox prospect, Sanchez will start the best-of-seven series opener at Fenway Park against Boston left-hander Jon Lester. Sanchez led the AL with a 2.57 ERA even though he spent most of the year as the No. 3 pitcher in the rotation, behind Verlander and Scherzer.
"I feel like our rotation is relentless," Verlander said. "There's no sigh of relief. There's no break. Every day you're getting somebody that's really good."
Verlander has been one of baseball's top pitchers for years, and he's a big reason why the Tigers have returned to the ALCS three years in a row. But he pitched on Thursday night, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the clincher against Oakland.
Scherzer came on in relief in Game 4 to help force the series to the limit. That leaves Sanchez, who allowed five earned runs in 4 1-3 innings in his Game 3 start against the A's, for the opener against Boston.
"You think that to not have to face Justin for the first few games is a relief," Red Sox starter Jake Peavy said, "until you realize this team doesn't stop. When you've got the ERA leader followed by Max Scherzer, who's probably going to win the Cy Young, there's a reason they are where they are."
The Red Sox will start Lester in Game 1, thanks to their ability to wrap up their series against Tampa Bay in four games. The 29-year-old cancer survivor, who started the clincher of Boston's 2007 World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies, was 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA against the Tigers this year.
"That's good for us for Jonny Lester not having to throw a Game 5 and going into this series on extended rest," said Clay Buchholz, who will pitch Game 2 on five days' rest. "He'll be in a good position from jump street and that's kind of what we've been doing all year, trying to feed off each other."
John Lackey will start Game 3 for Boston, with Peavy scheduled to face Detroit's Doug Fister in Game 4.
The Red Sox have played only four meaningful games since clinching the AL East on Sept. 20, and many of them gathered at David Ortiz's house to watch the finale of the Tigers' series against Oakland.
Friday was their third off day in a row, and several Red Sox spent it horsing around on the field while waiting for the workout to begin.
Mike Napoli sunbathed on the pitcher's mound with his shirt off, while Ryan Dempster hit golf balls from third base toward the outfield. Peavy, in a white tank top and jeans, set up the team's cigar store American Indian mascot on third base for pictures; David Ross combed the statuette's beard.
Peavy said the team is "as loose as it gets."
But Lester said it's time to turn their attention to the next goal.
"We came in yesterday, had a pretty light workout. And I think guys were still enjoying the fact of what we just accomplished," Lester said. "But at the same time realizing that today we've got to start focusing on our next challenge."
The Tigers celebrated in Oakland on Wednesday night and then took a redeye to Boston in order to arrive in time for their brief workout. Manager Jim Leyland joked that his team was used to getting in at 9 a.m. - but not because of a game.
Still, he said, the flight was a lot easier because of the victory.
"There's no being tired in the playoffs. This is what you play for," Verlander agreed. "It's easy for me to say that, though. I'll probably be taking a nap or two. I won't be doing much the first couple of games here."
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 3:36:10 PM EST|