Runs have been at a premium for both the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers in the 2013 ALCS. Only a couple of times has a team broken out. Unfortunately for the Red Sox the Tigers had one of those breakout games in game four and tied the series at two. Going into game five against Anibal Sanchez the Red Sox need to be able to get on base and score some runs early. That’s something they haven’t done and they will need the top three in their batting order to do so.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia are critical to the Red Sox scoring runs right now. They have a great line-up one through nine but with the shut down pitching of the Tigers, big swings have been non-existent. To combat that they need to get on base and cause havoc while out there, thereby manufacturing a few runs. Their starter Jon Lester would surely be more relaxed with a crooked number lead in the bottom of the first or second inning.
Ellsbury has been one of the best on the team this postseason and his presence on the base paths would create exactly the kind of pressure they need to put on Sanchez. Pedroia needs to find his stroke for sure, only batting .214 but even that is better than Victorino’s .125 average. He has been on base here and there but key base are what the Sox need from him to move over or drive in Ellsbury and set up a nice full set of bases for the big boppers coming up starting with Ortiz. The top of the order worked for the Tigers in their game four win and the Red Sox need the same to work in game five to pull ahead going back to Fenway Park.