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Detroit Tigers Vs. Boston Red Sox: 2013 ALCS G6 Preview

October 19th, 2013 at 4:56 PM
By Ron Juckett

The Boston Red Sox hope to wrap up the American League Championship Series Saturday night with a win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 at Fenway Park.

If they win, the Red Sox will host the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night in Game 1 of the World Series.

Saturday’s possible clincher sees a pitching rematch from Game 2. Clay Buchholz (12-1 W/L, 1.74 ERA) goes for Boston and Max Scherzer (21-3 W/L, 2.90 ERA) will pitch for the Tigers.

On a raw and windy night on Boston’s Back Bay, here are a few things to tide you over:

–Late word from Tigers manager Jim Leyland that banged-up catcher Alex Avila will start.

The Detroit medical crew looked at his knee during the off day and cleared him to play.

Boston catcher David Ross collided with Avila hard Thursday in Game 5 at a play at the plate.

–Xander Bogaerts will get another start at third base for the Red Sox.

Following a productive Game 5, Bogaerts will bat ninth.

The struggling Stephen Drew will hit eighth.

No other changes for Boston and Detroit runs out the same lineup they did Thursday.

–If Drew has another bad night at the plate—and Detroit forces Game 7—you have to wonder if Bogaerts is shifted to short, his natural position.

Drew is one-for-17 on the series, hitting .059 with eight strikeouts.

–After shifting down the Tigers lineup from first-to-eighth before Game 5, Austin Jackson reached base six straight times until grounding into an inning-ending double play to end the sixth in Game 6.

Dustin Pedroia’s swing looked more relaxed Thursday than in the other games in Detroit.

As Shane Victorino continues to slump, Boston needs Pedroia to find his form.

–Scherzer was on top of his game last Sunday.

In keeping the Red Sox hitless into the sixth, Scherzer spotted all of his pitches well and had Sox hitters missing pitches they were guessing right on.

He still took a no-decision.

–Red Sox hitters have struck out 61 times in five games. That comes to an average of 12.2 a game or 1.387 per inning.

Still, they are a game away from the World Series.

–Expect manager John Farrell to have a tight leash on Buchholz.

Buchholz pitched five great innings on Sunday then was taken behind the woodshed in the sixth.

Farrell was able to get 11 outs out of his bullpen in Game 5 and will not be afraid to do so in Game 6.

–Craig Breslow walked 18 hitters in 59.2 innings in 2013.

He has walked four in 2.1 this ALCS.

–The Red Sox have never lost an ALCS Game 6.

*All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.

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Tags: American League Championship Series, Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Detroit Tigers, Dustin Pedroia, Jim Leyland, John Farrell, Max Scherzer, MLB

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