Yesterday, I wrote an article about who I thought NEEDED to step up in the ALCS. Today, I'll give you my 3 players that I KNOW will step up in the ALCS.
David Ortiz: The only guy on the team that was here for 2004 and 2007 championships. This goes without saying, but Red Sox Nation can count on Big Papi to do all he can to get a third ring. He reached 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI's for the 7th season and he's continued that into the postseason. He's hit 2 home runs so far and has a .385 average according to ESPN. I'm not too worried about him not producing in the postseason, but our success in part depends on how far his bat want's to carry us. But, like I said, he's been through this and Red Sox Nation should not be worried about Big Papi, and instead be worried about other player, i.e. Stephen Drew.
Jon Lester: He's pitched well in the second half of the season, and that continued in his first start. He went 7.2 innings with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. He really only made 2 mistakes all game that proved not to be costly, as the offense picked him up. I think he could have gone the distance, but his pitch count got away from him at the end and Farrell pulled him. I think that will continue into the ALCS.
Dustin Pedroia: Yes, I put him on the players that need to step up, but of the three I put on my list, I think Pedey is most likely to step up. In fact, I have no doubts that he will answer the call because he's the de facto captain on this team and he knows what is expected of him. He also had a good run in 2007. You know, when he was Rookie of the Year and we won the championship. He performed well when we won then, and I think he'll step up again now.
Those are my guys who my gut tells me will step up vs. Oakland or Detroit. Let me know what you think on Twitter (@ConorJF1016) or leave a comment.