Friday, December 13, 2013
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.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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Greetings from Detroit Metro Airport, awaiting Southwest Flight 285 to Baltimore. Then it will be on to Manchester, N.H., a stop at Fenway, and home to Maine.
Jim Leyland was his usual honest self after the Tigers 4-3 loss to the Red Sox. Detroit muffed a golden chance in the first inning, when Miguel Cabrera tried to score from second base on a single to left field. Out by a mile, as they say.
Initially, third base coach Tom Brookens was waving Cabrera in, but then put up the stop sign as Cabrera rounded third. Too late. Cabrera kept going and was thrown out.
Leyland said the natural move for a coach is to look to score a runner with two outs. But Cabrera is slowed by a groin injury.
Both Jake Peavy and Dustin Pedroia were taking responsibility after Wednesday’s 7-3 loss. Meanwhile, manager John Farrell said Xander Bogaerts may be starting on Thursday.
See today's game story.
Peavy’s command was a problem, especially in the five-run second inning when he walked three batters, including the slumping Austin Jackson on four pitches, with bases loaded.
“It’s tough,” Peavy said. “When you feel like you let the boys down, there is not a worse feeling than I have now. Bad taste in my mouth.
Scenes and thoughts from Detroit.
Loved Justin Verlander's quote about appreciating this game as a baseball fan. See today's story.
Mike Napoli normally wears his pant knicker-style. But after two strikeouts continued his post-season slump, he pull his pants legs down to his shoes. Had to do something. You didn't think he'd shave his beard, did you?
Weird seeing Jose Iglesias come in as a pinch-hitter (he struck out). Iglesias, who has not started the past two games, will be in today's lineup, with ground-ball pitcher Doug Fister on the mound.
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).
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: