Game 2 at Fenway Park features an intriguing pitching matchup. Clay Buchholz (12-1 W/L, 1.74 ERA) will go for Boston and the presumed Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (21-3 W/L, 2.90) will pitch for the Tigers.
Following Saturday’s one-hitter, Detroit can put a stranglehold on this series with a win. The series shifts to Comerica Park for the middle three games (if necessary) starting Tuesday giving the Tigers a huge advantage.
As the Red Sox look to even the series, they can point to the fact they were one of three teams to beat Scherzer this year. They scored the win September 3 at Fenway despite Scherzer allowing two runs in seven innings.
In his last start, Scherzer was the winner in Game 1 of their AL Divisional Series against the Oakland Athletics. Scherzer struck out 11 over seven innings, scattering three hits, two walks and two earned runs.
Buchholz is coming off an average start against the Tampa Bay Rays.
His pitches lacked velocity and movement last Monday in Game 3, but he hung in there and ended with a no decision. Over six innings, Buchholz allowed seven hits, fanned five, walked three and gave up three earned runs.
Buchholz did not pitch this year agains the Tigers
The Red Sox make three changes to their lineup.
Mike Carp will bat fifth and play first for Mike Napoli. Jonny Gomes will bat sixth and start in left while Jarrod Saltalamacchia will catch and bat seventh.
Game 1 hero, Jhonny Peralta, starts at short instead of left for the Tigers as Don Kelly slides into the eighth hole to tame the Green Monster.
Boston must forget about Saturday night and stick to their game plan at the plate.
They worked Anibal Sanchez’s pitch count high early before swinging at everything and striking out 17 times. They need to relax and get on base. The changes they made to the lineup are supposed to help.
Whether it works or not depends on Scherzer.
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