Great, now that that's out of the way, let's look ahead to the ALCS, and I'll tell you who needs to step up against either the Oakland Athletics or the Detroit Tigers. Let me be clear - there were some gaping problems in the ALDS, especially in Tampa. We did fine at home, but the offense had plenty of problems against Tampa pitching. Well, guess what, Sox fans? It's not getting easier. Both Detroit and Oakland have great pitching and the offense is going to be at their run scoring best if they expect to take the next step. So, without further ado, here are 3 players that need to step up for the next series.
Dustin Pedroia - Yes, he led the team in RBI's, but he only went 4-17 vs Tampa pitching, according to ESPN. That needs to improve against whoever we play next. He's the heart and soul of this team, but his stats need to be better if we expect to beat whoever we play next because we can't expect to get away with Pedey only getting 4 hits in the ALCS. Not to mention there were a couple mix ups on defense with Stephen Drew that could have proved very costly, but they didn't in the bigger picture, as we still won the series, but that needs to change in the ALCS.
Stephen Drew - The sloppy defense I touched on, but Stephen Drew's offense needs to improve in the ALCS. He had a couple big hits in the first two games, but he didn't do anything in the Trop except get involved in some sloppy, almost-costly mix ups with Pedroia that should have been double play balls. Those mistakes might not be so easily forgiven against whoever we play next. So, no more of those shenanigans, Stephen. Same to you, Dustin. No more of that stuff if you want to win another World Series.
Mike Napoli - This Tweet from Over the Monster sums it up pretty well:
Paging September Napoli....
— OverTheMonster (@OverTheMonster) October 9, 2013
The Napoli that we saw in September has not shown up so far in October and that needs to change. I know he struck out a lot, but he came up with some big hits, especially in September. We need that Mike Napoli to show up in the ALCS, because we can't just rely on 3 or 4 players to carry this team to a title. Everyone needs to pitch in, and that means Napoli as well.
These guys are just 3 players I think need to step up. Everyone needs to raise their game, because this is what you play for. Let me know what you think on Twitter or leave a comment.