|BOSTON ( PEAVY )|
DETROIT ( FISTER )
|AL Championship Series - Best of 7 - Game 4 - BOS leads 2-1|
|917||BOSTON||+110||Ov 7.5,+100||+110||Ov 7.5,+105|
|918||DETROIT||-120||Un 7.5,-120||-120||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||67-45||+13.4||55-53||5.3||0.274||0.345||4.2||0.248||0.313|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3||4-3||4.7||0.224||0.316||2.6||0.225||0.281|
|vs Right-handed Starters||69-50||-1.8||57-58||4.9||0.286||0.343||3.7||0.240||0.299|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.7||3-4||2.9||0.223||0.285||2.9||0.199||0.267|
|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)||1-0||W||135||7 ov||U||4||4||0||6||7||1|
|10/16/2013||PEAVY(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)|| |
|10/17/2013||LESTER(L)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)|| |
|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)||5-6||L||120||7 ov||O||8||6||1||7||4||1|
|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.
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (BOSTON-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Red Sox-Tigers Preview* ========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Boston (97-65) at Detroit (93-69), 8:07 p.m. EDT
All the Detroit Tigers have to show for three stellar performances from their starting pitchers is a 2-1 deficit in the AL championship series.
Boston's offense has struck in clutch moments over the past two contests, and the Red Sox will look to come within a victory of reaching another World Series by winning Game 4 on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Detroit's starters - Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander - have allowed two runs and six hits while striking out 35 in 21 innings, including six frames of no-hit ball from Sanchez in a 1-0 victory in Game 1.
The resilient Red Sox, though, haven't been fazed. They ended the combined no-hitter and put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth in their lone defeat, then capped a five-run comeback with David Ortiz's eighth-inning grand slam and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's walk-off single for a 6-5 win in Game 2.
With Verlander dealing Tuesday, Mike Napoli homered in the seventh to give Boston a 1-0 victory - the fourth 1-0 decision and seventh shutout in 27 games this postseason.
"The runs are pretty stingy," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "This is what it's about in postseason, is good pitching."
The Red Sox got some of their own solid pitching in Game 3 from John Lackey, who struck out eight and allowed four hits in 6 2-3 innings before the bullpen shut down the Tigers the rest of the way.
"We won a game with four hits," outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "It says a lot about this team."
Miguel Cabrera, who homered in Game 2, failed to reach base for the first time in 32 postseason games for Detroit and struck out with Austin Jackson on third and one out in the eighth. Prince Fielder then whiffed to end the inning.
"We got opportunities to try to score and we didn't do our job," Cabrera said.
Detroit, which is 5 for 33 (.152) with runners in scoring position over its last four games, will look to even the series while providing some run support for Doug Fister in his second postseason start.
Fister (0-0, 4.50 ERA) allowed three runs in six innings as the Tigers beat Oakland 8-6 in Game 4 of the Division Series on Oct. 8. He gave up six runs and 11 hits while lasting just 3 1-3 innings in a 10-6 home loss to Boston on June 21, but held the Red Sox to four hits in seven innings of a 3-0 victory at Fenway Park on Sept. 2.
"I think a lot of it is the fact of just executing - keeping the ball down, mixing pitches and not getting in any sort of routine," Fister said. "Their hitters are very smart, very intelligent. And you know, we've seen each other a lot."
Napoli is 2 for 14 off the right-hander in his career. Shane Victorino, however, is 4 for 5 with a homer off Fister this season.
Boston manager John Farrell said Fister presents different challenges than Detroit's previous starters in the series.
"He might not have the sheer power and velocity the other three guys have in this rotation, but he does it a little differently," Farrell said.
The Red Sox will counter with Jake Peavy, whom they acquired in a three-team trade with Detroit and the Chicago White Sox in July that sent shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Tigers.
Peavy (0-0, 1.59) gave up one run in 5 2-3 innings in Game 4 against Tampa Bay in the Division Series on Oct. 8 as Boston eliminated the Rays with a 3-1 victory. His last start for Chicago came against Detroit on July 25, as he allowed four runs and four hits in seven innings and picked up an 8-4 victory.
"I do know those guys well," Peavy said. "It comes down to (Wednesday) night, executing the game plan that we think we're going to go with and get those guys out. It's a huge challenge with the way they swing the bat."
The right-hander went 12 days between appearances in his first postseason start, and he'll be pitching on seven days' rest against the Tigers.
"You like to pitch every five days, we're creatures of habit and we like to do that," Peavy said. "There will be no excuses (Wednesday) night for not being sharp. And I don't think that's going to be the case."
Torii Hunter is hitting .182 in the postseason, but he's 7 for 16 with a homer lifetime off Peavy.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 8:43:49 PM EST|