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Looking ahead to ALCS Game 6: Tigers-Red Sox

Oct 19, 2013, 9:49 AM EDT

Clay Buchholz Getty Getty Images

After defeating the Tigers 4-3 in Game 5 on Thursday night, the Red Sox are just one win away from their first World Series appearance since 2007. They’ll attempt to finish things off in Game 6 of the ALCS tonight at Fenway Park in Boston. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET while the game will be broadcast on FOX.

Here’s a quick look at the pitching matchup and some random notes:

Max Scherzer will be tasked with keeping the Tigers’ season alive. The AL Cy Young Award favorite took a no-hitter into the sixth inning back in Game 2 and ended up striking out 13 batters while allowing just one run over seven innings. Of course, the Tigers wasted his strong performance after David Ortiz hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a walkoff single in the ninth. Scherzer has allowed four runs while striking out 26 batters in 16 innings of work this postseason, including two starts and one relief appearance.

The Red Sox will turn to Clay Buchholz to pitch them to a pennant. The 29-year-old had an uneven performance back in Game 2, allowing just one run over the first five innings before being tagged for four runs in the sixth. He gave up two home runs in that start, which are still the only homers by Detroit during the series. Buchholz has allowed eight runs on 15 hits and three walks in 11 2/3 innings over his two starts this postseason.

The big question for the Tigers is whether Alex Avila will be ready to play after he was forced to leave Game 5 with a left patellar tendon strain. If not, Tigers manager Jim Leyland could simply go with Brayan Pena behind the plate, though he told reporters yesterday that he hasn’t ruled out using Victor Martinez at catcher while having Miguel Cabrera start at DH and Ramon Santiago or Don Kelly at third base. We should know for sure later this afternoon.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Red Sox manager John Farrell said yesterday that Xander Bogaerts will make his second straight start at third base in Game 6. The 21-year-old stepped in for Will Middlebrooks in Game 5 and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be back behind the plate for Boston after David Ross caught Game 5. Meanwhile, Jonny Gomes will get the nod over Daniel Nava in left field once again.

  1. theskinsman - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Should be an exciting game.Go Sox!!

  2. thevauntedchris - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Sweet beards Red Sox! You guys are truly original.
    Sincerely,
    Every hockey player ever

    • mornelithe - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      You mean since the New York Islanders of the ’80’s, of course, going by that logic, every hockey team that’s employed the playoff beard since has simply been copying the Islanders. Then again, it’s not like hockey revolutionized the beard either.

  3. wilkisoft - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    And again, Stephen Drew remains in the lineup. I just don’t get it.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Defense.

  4. cabrera24 - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Lmao!! @ wilkisoft

  5. cabrera24 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Yea , he’s in there because of his defense . But Drew is really struggling . I can’t remember the last time he had base hit .

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      Hard to believe it was in Game 3. Felt longer than that. He also only went 2 for 15 against TB.

  6. thebadguyswon - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Clay Buchholz looks like he belongs in prison.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      I’ve never seen Sons of Anarchy but wouldn’t blink if I saw an ad with him in it.

      • thebadguyswon - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        Perfect!! He’d make a good prospect.

  7. joerymi - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I would take the Tiger’s starters in these two games, but Leyland’s unwillingness to really make shake ups is what will probably doom the Tigers. Moving Jackson down was a move that should have happened well before it did. But it is good that he did it. And no, moving guys up wasn’t the trick…letting them face Peavy was the trick.

    How is Prince Fielder not dropped? Why would you give ANY starting spot to Roman Santiago in the PLAYOFFS? How are the guys that are actually hitting not up before Prince Fielder?

    I would love to see…V-Mart behind the plate or at first, Miggy at DH, Peralta at Third. Drop Prince to the number 7 spot (not kidding) or bench him for V-Mart at first (Also not kidding). The Tigers have squandered great starting pitching, and they don’t deserve to win.

    I REALLY hope I am wrong, but my Leyland frustration is at a 10 (slightly more annoying than hearing about beards every game), and having every play-by-play guy call him a genius is making it worse.

    • thebadguyswon - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Prince Fielder has been just awful.

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