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Red Sox emerge victorious in Game 6 of ALCS, will return to the World Series

Oct 20, 2013, 12:01 AM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game Six Getty Images

It was the Tigers’ game to lose, but ultimately, the Red Sox won it. Shane Victorino delivered a timely grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to give the Red Sox a three-run lead. In doing so, he tasked the sterling Red Sox bullpen with getting six outs to punch their ticket to the World Series. Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara were more than up for the task.

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was effective through five innings, but as he attempted to make his way through the Tiger lineup for a third time in the sixth, he wore down. It was to be expected, as he missed half the season due to bursitis in his right shoulder. Reliever Franklin Morales was of no help to Buchholz either, failing to strand runners that were on base for him when he entered the game with no outs.

But even after the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning, it felt like the Red Sox still had the momentum. The Tigers could have blown the game wide open, but Brandon Workman closed what was a gaping wound and got them out of trouble. As long as they could keep the game close, they knew they had a chance against the Tiger bullpen, which ranked among the worst in baseball during the regular season, and which they took advantage of previously in the series.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland kept starter Max Scherzer in the game to start the bottom of the seventh inning. The right-hander had worked his way out of several jams, getting strikeouts when he needed them most. It wasn’t to be after Jonny Gomes led off the inning with a double and Xander Bogaerts drew a one-out walk. Leyland went to his bullpen, asking them to preserve their one-run lead.

They couldn’t. Lefty Drew Smyly allowed a line drive up the middle to Jacoby Ellsbury, ¬†mishandled by shortstop Jose Iglesias, loading the bases up with one out. Leyland brought in right-hander Jose Veras to pitch to Shane Victorino, who was once again a full-time right-handed hitter rather than a switch hitter. Veras got ahead of Victorino 0-2, but hung a curve ball that he wishes he could have back. Victorino smashed it into the stands in left field atop the Green Monster, taking the Red Sox from down 1-2 to ahead 5-2. In terms of odds, the Sox went from 63.5% underdogs at the end of the top of the seventh to 94 percent favorites after the grand slam.

From there, it was a matter of the Red Sox bullpen doing its job. Craig Breslow shut the Tigers down in the top of the eighth and Koji Uehara finished the job in the top of the ninth. Uehara struck out Iglesias with — what else — a splitter in the dirt, sending the Red Sox back to the World Series for the first time since 2007, when they swept the Rockies. They will match up against the Cardinals at home in Games 1 and 2, starting on Wednesday. It will be a rematch of the 2004 World Series, which the Red Sox won to break the 86-year-old “Curse of the Bambino”.

  1. happytwinsfan - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    there is no god

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      For a happy twins fan you sure are negative.

      • happytwinsfan - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:21 AM

        yes i am

    • sabatimus - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      I AM GOD.

      • sabatimus - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      • theskinsman - Oct 20, 2013 at 6:10 AM

        Sounds like the noise I used to bitch at my son for playing. But it was funny.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      Anyone with a half-functioning brain stem could tell you that there’s no god.

      That said…go fuck yourself.

      Signed, Red Sox Nation

      • sabatimus - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:58 AM

        That’s ok, I don’t have to give a shit what you think, even if I am a Sox fan.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:13 AM

        Yeah, that was a dickish thing to say…just getting tired of this guy shitting all over the Red Sox every chance he gets.

  2. chill1184 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Congrats to the Red Sox and their magic beards

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      Literally would have been happy to get beat in the one game playoff if you asked me in Spring Training.

      • chill1184 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:18 AM

        I sure as hell would’ve taken that for my team

  3. redsoxchamp11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Holy shit!!! Here we go boys!!!!

  4. polegojim - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Red Sox bullpen… performed excellently…

    Tigers bullpen… crap, worthless, garbage. Another post season loss to Red Sox because of it.

    Tigers inept, NON-relief pitching was the difference in this one. They BURNED Scherzer twice.

    If I’m him or Verlander, I never agree to come out of another playoff game with that group in the wings.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:34 AM

      Yeah, you’ve gotta feel bad for the Tigers starters. All of them put in near-brilliant performances, and have dick to show for it.

      The Sox just ran up the pitch counts and let it rip against the ‘pen. You can’t blame Leyland too much either…he was given a crappy ‘pen and just did his best to manage a “deck chairs on the Titanic” situation any time he pulled a starter.

      • polegojim - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        Oh, Leyland earned plenty of the blame/responsibility.

        This is basically the SAME bullpen he’s fielded to get knocked out of the World Series race three times.

        Valverde… finally gone.
        Benoit… grand slam
        Albequerqe… always good for a few earned runs and NOT closing out.
        Smyly – one batter wonder… and doesn’t get it done I want that job.

  5. jeffchadwick - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Never seen a pitcher squeezed worse than Max Scherzer tonight in multiple big at bats. Oh, and the Tiger bullpen still sucks save Smyly, who Jimmy Smokes decided is a LOOGY this postseason.

  6. cabrera24 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Good season tigers . Now go get rid of prince fielder .

  7. gameover78 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    BOSTON STRONG!

  8. sabatimus - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Here we come, Cards!

    • perryt200 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      actually because of the stupid all star game the Cards have to go to you.

      but… since the records were tied for best record in baseball, it is a toss up.

      this is an interesting read though.

      http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/10/19/more-success-for-model-organization/

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        I’m pretty sure there are no “interesting reads” on Fox News’ website.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      It ain’t gonna be easy AT ALL.

      Papi is gonna have to contribute more than one grand slam.

      The whole offense needs to wake up. Unbelievable that the pitching was good enough to overcome their horrendous offensive output against the Tigers…

      …not to to disparage the Sox pitching, but it wasn’t their strong suit in the regular season. The Sox offense is what bailed them out quite often (except when Lackey was pitching, HA).

  9. elwaysmilehighdenver - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Hope I’ve seen the last of Jimmy “smokes” Leyland in a Tigers uniform. Incompetent managerial decisions with the starting pitchers and bull pen. And let’s not forget to blame the poor base running decisions by the Tigers also. Disappointing end to a frustrating season for this fan. Congrats Bosox.

  10. happytwinsfan - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    bah. humbag.

  11. thevauntedchris - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Has anyone checked on Peter Gammons to make sure he didn’t drown in a pool of his own ejaculate after that game?

  12. disgracedfury - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Having weight isn’t a bad thing for a ballplayer but seeing Fielder roll around the dirt like a fat kid is the story of that tigers team.It goes to show that bullpen arms are as important as a rotation in baseball now.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      I’m still laughing at his bellyflop into third.

  13. drelms - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Does anyone know why FOX refuses to show a pitch track live like every other station would?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      Maybe because having that box there all the time is really annoying?

      • Anoesis - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        It’s only annoying when your pitcher is having his balls called as strikes. I find it very valuable in determining whether or not the home plate ump has a bias.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        No, I don’t like it regardless of who’s playing, but maybe that’s just me.

  14. aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    VICTORINO!!!

    YES!!!

    That was incredible. Two grand slams off relief pitchers after Scherzer pitched a gem.

    What the hell are the odds?

    The Tigers bullpen is truly an atrocity. From a distance, it would seem the Tigers had the most talented team in baseball:

    The current ERA champ, the current Wins champ, AND one of the most brilliant pitchers in MLB in Verlander…that’s THREE legit aces.

    THEN you’ve got a reigning MVP and Triple Crown winner, Prince Fielder, Martinez…etc.

    But this team has SERIOUS problems. Poor base running and defense, an atrocious pen…just goes to show that glitz and gaudy stats aren’t the be all, end all.

    There may something to this Sabermetrics stuff after all ;)

  15. tfbuckfutter - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    If you told me the Red Sox would be a .500 team heading into the season I would have called you a dipshit.

    If you told me they would be in the World Series I would have laughed in your face for no less than 2 consecutive minutes.

    This is really unbelievable.

    I do have one question though…..can Stephen Drew be designated for assignment before the World Series? Is that an option? Because if it is, please do it. Watching him bat makes me sad. How he even managed a .095 OBP is amazing to me and somehow it’s even sadder than had he had a .000 OBP. I don’t know why that is, but it is.

    Xander and Will can handle things from here, douche.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2013 at 4:34 AM

      Yeah, you’ve been a serial pessimist since the start of the season, and I’ve argued with you over it quite often.

      Nevertheless, you ARE a great fan, and it’s been a pleasure discussing the Sox with you all season. Now on to the final act.

      As far as Drew, he’s in there STRICTLY for his glove, and he’s made some damn good plays. I know he SUCKS hard at the plate, but defense counts for something. Farrell knows what he’s doing apparently.

      • theskinsman - Oct 20, 2013 at 6:14 AM

        Anyone with half a brain knows Drew isn’t the only guy who has a cold bat. I have,I admit wondered aloud why not just put Bogarts in for him and see how that goes.I guess that’s why I’m a fan and Farrell is the Manager.

  16. emykk - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Congrats on winning the Pennant, Sox fans! I’ve been hoping for the Sox to win because the weather in Detroit on Wednesday is calling for snow(!) and also, I just love the beards. It’s too bad Jason Motte is still out because he’s our only really epic beard. This looks to be a great World Series! See you in a few days (I wish it were sooner, we don’t even have hockey in StL until next Friday. I hate days with no sports to watch). Go Cards!

  17. binnh - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Great for the Sox! They live to fight another day in the Series!

    Why is it that these articles seem to never actually explicitly state the final score? Is it that hard? Why do I always need to look elsewhere to see if the last score stated is actually the final? And sometimes it isn’t!

  18. pwshrugged - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    That window just got a lot smaller for the Tigers.

    Still, though, can’t argue the result – Tigers fan I may be, but the better team won. Having the better players doesn’t mean much when there’s no bullpen or bench depth to help them out.

    Kudos to the Red Sox, I hope they go on to win it all.

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