The Detroit Tigers will look to continue rolling on the road (11-4) and enact a level of revenge when they take on the Boston Red Sox for a weekend series beginning Friday night in Fenway Park. No Tigers’ fan needs to be reminded that the Red Sox ended their favorite team’s October aspirations in a six-game ALCS this past October. A great pitching matchup (Max Scherzer vs Jon Lester) kicks off the series, which will feature all night games, including a rare Tigers’ appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
The Red Sox are suffering from a World Series hangover, at .500 after 40 games. That would usually spell doom in the always competitive AL East, but as it stands now, parody reigns supreme in the most covered division in baseball. Boston is in third place, one game behind New York for second and 1.5 games behind first-place Baltimore.
Detroit Tigers (24-12) at Boston Red Sox (20-20) — 7:10 PM EDT
Fenway Park — Boston, MA
TV: FSD, MLB Network
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 67 degrees, chance of showers/T-storms
When We Last Met
The Tigers bullpen and offense let them down in last year’s ALCS. Despite winning a thrilling Game 1, 1-0, and taking a 5-0 lead in Game 2 (both on the road), the Tigers couldn’t stop a late Red Sox charge and ended up losing Game 2. The image of Torii Hunter falling over the right field wall, just missing a fantastic catch that turned into a grand slam will likely haunt us for decades.
That was really the turning point of the series and seemed to demoralize Detroit, who lost three of the next four to lose the series in six. The Red Sox went on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games as well, giving them their third World Championship in nine years.
The Tigers edged the Red Sox 4-3 in the regular season series, but lost two of three in Fenway Park from Sept. 2-4.
Scherzer (5-1, 2.04) struggled with his control a bit in his last outing. As usual in a Max Scherzer start, the Tigers got him plenty of run support, scoring six runs in the second inning last Saturday against Minnesota. Max coughed up half that lead in the ensuing inning, but limited the damage after that. It wasn’t vintage Max, but most pitchers in baseball would take it. He ended up going six innings, allowing five hits, four walks, and struck out six. Max was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA against the Red Sox in the 2013 regular season, and allowed four runs over two starts in the ALCS. He was the losing pitcher in the deciding game.
Lester (4-4, 2.75) was outdueled by Anibal Sanchez in ALCS Game 1, but he was brilliant in 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and one run. He wasn’t as good five days later at Comerica Park, but the Red Sox had built a 4-0 lead. The Tigers chipped away but Lester picked up the win, 4-3. He was perfect in two starts against the Tigers in the regular season, but had a bloated ERA of 4.26. The Tigers couldn’t hit lefties last year, but lead the American League with a collective batting average near .300 against south paws, so Lester may not be as dominant this time around.
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Austin Jackson=CF
- Alex Avila-C
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Danny Worth-SS
- Anibal Sanchez - Probable for Sunday
- Luke Putkonen - 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan - 15-day DL
- Andy Dirks - 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias - 60-day DL
- Bruce Rondon - Out for the season
Tags: Detroit Tigers