After a 7-3 beat down on a night where Jake Peavy was wildly ineffective the pressure in this series now shifts to the Boston Red Sox. Red Sox ace Jon Lester is on the mound tonight in what is a must win game for the Red Sox in my opinion.
If Boston loses this game with their ace on the mound, they then have the tall task of going home down 3-2, to face the potential deadly combination of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. These are arguably the two best pitchers in baseball, and that’s not what you want to be seeing as a hitter in an elimination game.
The Red Sox ace must perform like one tonight for Boston to take back control of the series. Another thing the Red Sox should think of doing is tweaking their lineup a bit. Young, up-and-coming shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts has looked excellent at the plate so far in limited at bats in the postseason. He also has a plus glove in the infield.
It would be wise for the Red Sox to swap Bogaerts and Stephen Drew in the lineup even just to experiment and see how it works. Bogaerts provides an upgrade both in the field and at the plate, and right now the Red Sox’ offense could use some tweaking. Save for one inning and one swing of the bat by David Ortiz, the offense that had been there all season just hasn’t been there for the Red Sox.
Tonight’s game is a big one for the Red Sox and their faithful. Whoever wins this decisive game takes control of the series and inevitably advances to the World Series.