Thursday, December 12, 2013
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Greeting from Manchester Airport. Bound for Detroit (with a stop in Baltimore).
The Red Sox and Tigers will play all three scheduled games in Detroit. For a while, it looked like two might do the job - as in finishing off a four-game sweep of the Red Sox.
But there is new life. You can read about it in today’s game story (a story that made a MAJOR U-Turn after the eighth inning).
Some key factors in Boston’s 6-5 comeback win over the Tigers on Sunday night:
Victorino running. Shane Victorino singled in the sixth inning to break up Max Scherzer’s no-hitter. With Dustin Pedroia up, Victorino broke for second base. With Victorino running, Pedroia doubled off the left field wall, and Victorino easily scored.
Bullpens. One of the surprising elements of the Tigers’ 1-0 win Saturday was their bullpen throwing three shutout innings. But Detroit’s relievers looked vulnerable on Sunday, while Boston got no-hit relief from Brandon Workman (one inning), Felix Doubront (1 1/3 innings) and Koji Uehara (the ninth inning).
Of course, the ninth inning became important after David Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam in the eighth. Until then, Ortiz had been struggling.
“I tell you what, man, post-season is something that can work both ways for you,” Ortiz said. “It can go well if you stay calm. Or it can go bad if you try to overdo things.
“Like (Saturday) night, pretty much all of us were trying to overdo things. I was trying to produce for the team when the opposition is pitching me very careful. I was chasing a lot of bad pitches. I feel like I was jumping a little bit.”
Joaquin Benoit threw a change-up to Ortiz, and he was looking for it.
“I know they are not going to let me beat them with a fastball in that situation,” Ortiz said. “Plus I know that my boy, Benoit, he has a good splitter. I take my chances in the situation. The pitch was pretty much hittable. It was on the plate and I put a good swing on it.
“If I was telling you that I was thinking about hitting a grand slam, I’d be lying to you. You try to put a good wing on the ball and that happens.”
Benoit was surprised. “At first, I didn’t realize he hit it that well. It carried out.”
The eighth inning came after the Red Sox had been stymied for 16 innings by Detroit pitching (three hits, one run, 30 strikeouts).
“It was tough,” said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who singled in the game-winning run in the ninth. “We didn’t get much (going) since (Saturday) night.
“Felt that sense we were going to break out of it. We had to.”
"You get your back against the wall, you cave or fight. We're gonna fight," Dustin Pedroia said.
Some other links: Today’s column and today’s notebook.
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Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
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