ALCS Game 6: Tigers at Red Sox - Fenway ready to celebrate a Sox AL championship
Ben Whitehead Contributing Writer
ONE is the key number.
ONE half of the World Series matchup is decided. The other half could be decided tonight.
That’s because the Boston Red Sox are ONE win away from being crowned American League Champions.
We won’t let that sink in just yet, because the Sox need to score at least ONE more run than the Detroit Tigers in order to proclaim that.
Boston comes home with a 3-2 ALCS lead over the Tigers after taking 2-of-3 in Motown. The Red Sox earned home-field advantage for this reason right here. They get two shots in America’s Most Beloved Ballpark to celebrate a league championship with their fans.
First things first: You gotta win. And against the likes of Max Scherzer (tonight) and Justin Verlander (if necessary in Game 7), things aren’t going to be easy.
The Sox will have Clay Buchholz on the mound for the second time this series, hoping to see better stuff than what he had in Game 2 of this series. Buchholz gave up five runs on eight hits – two home runs – and lasted just 5 2/3 innings before leaving with the Sox trailing 5-0. Fortunately, he has David Ortiz on his team, as Big Papi blasted a memorable game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning and Boston went on to win 6-5 on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia walk-off in the ninth to even the series at one apiece. Had they fallen to 0-2 in the series heading to Detroit, we may not be discussing this Game 6 right now.
As it stands, game on.
Here is the Red Sox lineup for tonight’s game (first pitch – 8:07 pm EDT; TV – FOX):
1. Ellsbury, CF 2. Victorino, RF 3. Pedroia, 2B 4. Ortiz, DH 5. Napoli, 1B 6. Saltalamacchia, C 7. Gomes, LF 8. Drew, SS 9. Bogaerts, 3B Buchholz, P
Scherzer, the best pitcher in baseball this season and likely Cy Young Award winner, was on point in that instant classic that was Game 2. He pitched seven innings and allowed one run on just two hits while striking out 13 Red Sox. Boston’s first hit didn’t come until the sixth inning. In fact, both hits and the run happened in that inning when Shane Victorino singled and Dustin Pedroia doubled. However, that was all the Sox would get off Scherzer.
Sticking with Gomes Jonny Gomes has been the main man roaming left field through the first five games this series and Red Sox manager John Farrell has him in the lineup again tonight. A lot of pundits expected it to be Mike Carp and/or Daniel Nava to give Boston a lefty bat in the order, but that hasn’t been the case against this all-righty rotation of the Tigers. Gomes is 2-for-12 in the ALCS in three games started (and one pinch-hit appearance). Nava is 2-for-6 in two starts and Carp is 0-for-5 in one start – at first base. Some would argue that Nava and his .303 batting average and .385 OBP this season is deserving of starting more this series.
K-O-J-I is the new way to spell M-V-P
What more can you say about Red Sox closer Koji Uehara? The guy is just simply amazing at what he does. He gets called on for a five-out save and goes five-up, five-down. His stability at the backend of the bullpen is what has helped this team win close games. The game is shortened to eight, sometimes seven-plus innings. And with Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa to bridge the gap, the bullpen has proven to be the best asset this team has.
We hope the next time you’re reading a pregame article that it is for Game 1 of the World Series. Go Sox!
Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.
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