Storylines to watch in Game 3

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Conor Frederick (@ConorJF1016)
Contributing Writer

Game 3 could well be the most important game in this series. It's true. When the series is tied 1-1, the winner of game 3 has gone on to win the series 38 of 55 times, according to Buster Olney tweeted (see below) that the game 3 winner after the series is tied has won 11 of the last 12, so the importance of this game can't be overstated.

So, without further ado, here are 2 major storylines to watch in game 3.

David Ortiz starts at 1st in the absence of the DH spot in the line up: There was never any question that David Ortiz would get the start at 1st, but it still is worth watching how it plays out, especially in late innings. Manager John Farrell di what I think any smart manager would do by leaving Ortiz in the starting lineup, but what will be interesting is what he does in late innings. If it were me, I'd take Ortiz out in the event we have a late inning lead and bring in Napoli for his glove, but leave him in if we're down and need some offense. Papi's defense is generally pretty good, but he doesn't play regularly at first. Again, I'll be watching how Farrell handles this, but I will say that it's a good dilemma to have.

Carlos Beltran's rib injury: Like I mentioned in one of my articles a couple days ago, Carlos Beltran's rib injury could swing the series in our favor if he sits out at all. He started game 2 and made an impact, driving in a critical insurance run after the Red Sox defense blew a 2-1 lead in the 7th, so he can still be productive even with the injury. Just a side note - huge amount of respect for the guy for playing through injury.

Like I mentioned above, this game could prove to be decisive, and if history is anything to judge by, it will be crucial. Thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter (@ConorJF1016) or leave a comment.