Tuesday October 15, 2013 | 01:19 PM

Two ways the Red Sox can beat the Tigers today: get to Justin Verlander early, or drive his pitch count up so much they can take their chances against the bullpen.

The Tigers bullpen is 1-for-2 in this ALCS so far.

“Everyone is making a big deal about the bullpen,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. Three days ago, they were bragging about the bullpen and two days ago, they were saying the bullpen didn’t do the job.”

Leyland is not worried about second-guessing when he uses his bullpen (big surprise there).

“I was either wrong twice and it worked out right once, or I was right twice and it worked out wrong once. That’s just the way it works,” he said.

“I don’t have any issue with the bullpen. They did a fantastic job the one night. The other night they didn’t do quite so well. It is what it is. There is no magic. You can’t go grab another relief pitcher this time of year.”

Here is the Red Sox lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Johnny Gomes LF
Stephen Drew SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
(John Lackey P)

About this Blog

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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