ALCS 2013: 5 Things Boston Red Sox Needs To Do To Beat Detroit Tigers
5 Things Boston Red Sox Must Do
This ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers has been a classic, at least in the minds of baseball purists. Amazing pitching performances, great bullpen work and just enough timely offense to make a difference. Boston has the lead in the series but it has never felt comfortable and as a matter of fact, it sometimes seemed as though Detroit was in the driver's seat, based on their pitching.
Let's face it, no matter how this series ends up, you have to give a tip of the hat to the Detroit starting rotation. They have been absolutely dominating throughout and as a foursome, I can't recall a rotation that has been as completely lights out as Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister have been. The Tampa Bay Rays have some really quality pitching but they don't even come close to Detroit's. The Red Sox are very lucky to be in the position that they are in right now and as a matter of fact, they should be thankful that they didn't get completely swept out of this series.
Boston still has a very tall order for the rest of the ALCS. Quite simply, if they have any hopes in advancing they must beat either Scherzer or Verlander. That is no small task at all, especially for a team whose offense for the most part hasn't shown up much during this series. Boston has some work to do if it wants to get to the World Series. It's a beautiful Friday night so it's time for another Friday Night Five. Get ready, because here it comes.
5. Please Figure Out This Guy
Find a way to beat this guy. And do it as soon as possible. Max Scherzer is almost certainly going to win the Cy Young Award this year and he dominated Boston in Game 2. He made them look really bad. Boston needs to work deep in the counts, get his pitch count up and maybe get to that bullpen. Scherzer does sometimes have control issues. Boston needs to be patient because it could be really bad if they don't.
4. Or Else You Will Have To Figure Out THIS Guy
Here is the reason it could be really bad. It's this guy. He is even tougher than Scherzer. I think he might be the best starting pitcher out there and unlike almost every other pitcher on the planet, he seems to get stronger the deeper in a game he pitches. Combine that with his competitive spirit and he may be out for blood for Game 7. David Price was the same way in the ALDS. Boston really needs to settle everything as soon as possible so that Verlander isn't a factor.
3. Get Jacoby Ellsbury Going Leading Off
Get Jacoby Ellsbury going. He recently has been hitting a lot better but in the first few games, he wasn't getting on base at all and when Boston doesn't have their table setters, they aren't doing much offensively.
2. Shane Victorino Also Needs To Get Hot
Same thing for Shane Victorino. At least Ellsbury has been showing some signs of life recently. Victorino looks overmatched and uncomfortable and he hasn't been getting on base at all. One of Boston's key weapons is their speed and if they don't have that, it is awfully hard for them to manufacture runs.
The No. 1 Thing is Keep That Bullpen Rested And In Good Shape
Keep the bullpen rested. As it stands, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara have kept Boston in every single game and preserved every single lead. They have been almost untouchable. If Boston does win, it could be considered that those three guys could be MVP of this series. Don't forget that their other five relievers pitched five scoreless innings during the Game 4 loss. The bullpen is what has kept them in this series.
So there you have it. Five Things Boston needs to do to win this ALCS. It would be great if the offense showed up soon. The pitching can't do it alone.