October 19, 2013

ALCS6: Red Sox 5, Tigers 2

Tigers  - 000 002 000 - 2  8  1
Red Sox - 000 010 40x - 5  5  1

Shane Victorino crushed a hanging curveball from Jose Veras for a grand slam home run to left field in the bottom of the seventh. The shot erased Detroit's 2-1 lead and gave Boston a three-run cushion. Victorino was 2-for-23 in the ALCS before the blast.

Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara then retired six of the seven Tigers hitters in the eighth and ninth innings - and Boston clinched its 13th American League pennant. The Red Sox will meet the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Uehara was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicMax Scherzer / Clay Buchholz

The ALCS is back at Fenway Park - and the Red Sox have two chances to punch their ticket to the 109th World Series, which begins on Wednesday night in the American League park. The St. Louis Cardinals clinched the National League pennant last night.

The Tigers will rely on their best pitchers - Scherzer and Justin Verlander - in Games 6 and (if necessary) Game 7. The Red Sox won both games started by the two Tiger aces earlier in the series.

ESPN: "Scherzer and Verlander made back-to-back starts 19 times during the regular season. In those games, the Tigers won both games seven times, split the two starts 11 times and lost both once."

Torii Hunter says that the pressure is on Boston.

Xander Bogaerts will start at third base, as he did in Game 5. Manager John Farrell also said that Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be catching, Jonny Gomes will be in left field, and the slumping Shane Victorino will likely remain in the #2 spot.

The four one-run games in this series ties the ALCS record, set by Baltimore/Cleveland in 1997.

Looking at the stats for the first five games:

Mike Napoli: 6-for-16 (.375), 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 runs scored, 2 RBI
Jacoby Ellsbury: 6-for-19 (.316), double, triple, 3 walks
Koji Uehara: 5 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts; 1 win, 2 saves
Stephen Drew: 1-for-17 (.059), 8 strikeouts
Shane Victorino: 2-for-21 (.095), 9 strikeouts
David Ortiz: 2-for-19 (.105), home run
Ellsbury has stolen six bases during this postseason, a new Red Sox record. Boston has set a new team record with 12 steals in the 2013 postseason.

An interesting factoid: The Red Sox have won 25 straight games (including regular season and postseason) when scoring at least three runs in any one inning. The most recent victory of that type was Game 5.

The results of the previous eight best-of-7 ALCS for the Red Sox:
1986 - Beat Angels in 7 games
1988 - Lost to A's in 4 games
1990 - Lost to A's in 4 games
1999 - Lost to Yankees in 5 games
2003 - Lost to Yankees in 7 games
2004 - Beat Yankees in 7 games
2007 - Beat Cleveland in 7 games
2008 - Lost to Rays in 7 games


FenFan said...

It's on like Donkey Kong!

9casey said...

I see a Johnny Damon like breakout for Victorino tonight.

laura k said...

What a completely amazing series this was. Such great baseball!

Seven wins down, four to go!

tim said...


Tom DePlonty said...

Now I can't figure out whether last season seems like a bad dream, or this season like a really, really great one.

Philip said...

9c with the call on Victorino: brilliant.

laura k said...

I see a Johnny Damon like breakout for Victorino tonight.

WOW! Tell us what else you see!

Philip with the call on 9C! I would have missed it.

Now I can't figure out whether last season seems like a bad dream, or this season like a really, really great one.

Can I vote for both?

Maybe it's like the 2003 and 2004 ALCSs - the pain of one making the joy of the other that much sweeter.

Kathryn said...

9c--brilliant call!

This is waaaaay toouch fun. What an incredible team.

Kathryn said...

I just watched the 7th again on mlb condensed game. Napoli and Ross were hugging and jumping up and down like a couple of little leaguers...priceless!