Although that it in itself does not guarantee a thing, having any series start and potentially end at Fenway should give the Sox a boost at crunch time.
Playoff baseball is a different animal than the regular season version. Slumps and streaks become magnified. Momentum does build and change from one game to the next and mental mistakes doom the best of teams.
Whether Boston is to win their first championship in six years, there are three things they must do if they are to bring another banner to Fenway.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION
Sometimes in the postseason, the easiest of tasks become the hardest to pull off.
Boston must be able to drive home runners when the situation arises to keep the pressure on their opponent.
This is especially important in the short best-of-five League Divisional Series where the margin of error is smaller.
If we see TBS using graphics such as Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz being oh-for-nine in the series with runners in scoring position, then the Sox are in deep trouble.
They can create chances with the speed of Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino. Batters like Mike Napoli need to be extra careful about striking out and make sure if they do make outs that it moves the runners along.
If the Tampa Bay Rays can get comfortable against the Sox lineup, the momentum will swing in their favor.
STARTERS HAVE TO PITCH INTO THE SEVENTH INNING
Another basic element of baseball, but oh so important. The rotation of Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy need to pitch deep into games every time on the hill.
Yes, it does seem like stating the obvious, but there are two things we know. The fresher the bullpen can stay, the less likely they make a huge mistake and turn a close game into a blowout.
More important, we know that there will be times in each series that a starter will have a bad start. Even with Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront available for long relief, a good bullpen can wreck in a hurry whether they are needed to go five or six innings a game.
There really is nothing a team can do about extra innings, but keeping the bullpen as fresh as possible will go a long way into making this a successful October.
WIN AT FENWAY
Boston needs to put the pressure of all their potential opponents by jumping out ahead in every series.
A split of the those first two games gives that precious home-field advantage away and can give needed confidence to a team that may not have had it coming in.
The Red Sox have earned the right to be here and, in turn, they must do their best to turn Fenway Park in to the house of horrors that any visiting team dreads coming to play.
We saw the New York Yankees for years build “aura and mystique” into the old ball yard in the Bronx, the Sox need to do the same thing.
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