ALCS GAME 3: BOSTON RED SOX AT DETROIT TIGERS
Series: Tied 1-1
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
Gametime: 4:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 65 degrees, wind 11 mph
Starting pitchers: BOS – John Lackey (10-13, 3.52) / DET – Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46)
After a classic finish to Game 2 in Boston, the ALCS now shifts to Detroit where Justin Verlander will be tasked with regaining momentum for the Tigers. Verlander hasn’t allowed a run yet through two playoff games this October, with 21 strikeouts in 15 innings. Detroit pitchers have carried no-hit bids late into both games so far, and it won’t get any easier with the former MVP taking the ball.
Verlander faced the Red Sox once this season and had trouble with their revamped lineup. On June 23 he allowed four runs through five innings on seven hits in a Tigers’ win in Detroit. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, in particular, were on that day with three hits apiece.
For whatever reason, Ortiz has a great history against the right-hander. He’s batting .370 through 27 at-bats, with four home runs and two doubles. His OPS vs. Verlander is a ridiculous 1.174.
The Verlander we’ve seen so far in these playoffs, however, is on a completely different level than he was during the regular season. He may need another great performance against a Boston lineup that woke up in a big way on Sunday.
John Lackey will make his second appearance in the playoffs this year after a forgettable start in Game 2 of the ALDS. He coughed up four runs against Tampa Bay on seven hits and three walks, but was bailed out by his teammates in a Red Sox win.