The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Red Sox one win from World Series
Thu, 10/17/2013 - 11:56pm  

Red Sox one win from World Series

DETROIT — When the Red Sox signed Mike Napoli, they envisioned the addition of a middle-of-the-order power hitter who could offer a threat behind David Ortiz while also possessing the patience and plate discipline to either elevate opposing pitchers’ counts or work a walk. The team viewed him as someone who was capable of doing damage even against top pitchers, as evidenced by some of his past postseason heroics.

Now, the Sox are enjoying a first-hand view of Napoli’s playoff capabilities. Two days after he delivered the game-winning homer in Boston’s 1-0 Game 3 victory, the slugger once again made his mark on Game 3, going 3-for-4 with a massive solo homer to straightaway center field — well over the 420-foot sign and into the Comerica Park hedges that look not unlike his beard — a double and two runs scored.

His mammoth homer in the top of the second inning jumpstarted a three-run Red Sox uprising — just the second time in the ALCS that the Sox had rallied for multiple runs in a single frame — against Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez en route to an eventual 4-3 victory. The fact that Napoli led his band of beardy brothers to a four-run production against Sanchez represented something of a breakthrough for an offense that had plated just three runs against Tigers starters in the first four games of the series.

Interestingly, while the Sox felt that their game plan to drive up the pitch count of Sanchez in Game 1 of the ALCS — where the right-hander issued six walks in his six no-hit innings — was a good building block for Game 5, the team didn’t negotiate a single walk from him in Game 5. Instead, they amassed nine hits in the starter’s six innings, bunching enough of them together to give the Sox a four-run cushion that permitted the team to withstand single runs from the Tigers in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

With the win, the Red Sox are one victory from securing a spot in the World Series as the ALCS shifts back to Fenway Park on Saturday for Game 6, with Clay Buchholz slated to take on Max Scherzer.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– Koji Uehara came on to deliver a five-out save, his longest of the postseason. He punched out both Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante in the eighth, then blitzed through a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the postseason.

Jon Lester‘s stuff was hardly overpowering, as he elicited just six swings and misses among his 98 offerings, but the left-hander pitched around 10 baserunners to limit the Tigers to two runs (only one of which was scored while he was on the mound) in 5 1/3 innings. It was the shortest start of his postseason career, but still represented a sufficient effort to position the Sox to claim a win. Lester’s ERA in nine playoff starts is now 2.35.

– In a pivotal first-inning play, Miguel Cabrera got thrown out by a mile when he tried to score from second on a two-out single by Jhonny Peralta to left fielder Jonny Gomes. Cabrera, of course, is dealing with a left leg injury that has rendered him a complete tortoise on the bases. On the play, it appeared that third-base coach Tom Brookens initially waved Cabrera before switching to a hold sign; by that point, it was too late, Cabrera kept motoring to the plate and Gomes’ throw beat him by perhaps 15 feet. Instead of facing a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the first, the Sox thus escaped a first inning in which Lester issued a walk and permitted two singles without allowing a run. The next inning, the Sox exploded for three runs to completely shift the dynamic of the game.

– Though Junichi Tazawa permitted a run-scoring single to Brayan Pena when he entered the game in the sixth, he immediately clipped the rally with a double play grounder by Austin Jackson. He then stayed on for the seventh, permitting a pair of hits to open the inning by putting runners on the corners for Miguel Cabrera.

But, in a reprisal of the defining matchup of Game 3 (when Tazawa punched out Cabrera with runners on the corners and one out), the right-hander got Cabrera to bounce into a 4-3 double play on a fastball down and just off the outside corner. Though a run scored on the play, under the circumstances, the exchange of a run for two outs was one with which the Red Sox were comfortable.

Tazawa now has gotten three double play grounders in 4 2/3 postseason innings, matching his total from 68 1/3 innings in the regular season.

Xander Bogaerts, inserted into the lineup in place of Will Middlebrooks, had an instant impact on the Sox offense, ripping a one-out double to left in the second inning. He would eventually score the Sox’ third run of the frame. He later worked a walk, and he’s now reached in five of eight postseason plate appearances with two doubles.

David Ross had his second career multi-hit game in 10 postseason games, slamming a double to left as part of the three-run rally in the second and later adding a single.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

Stephen Drew once again looked overmatched in the series. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, bringing his ALCS line to 1-for-17 with eight strikeouts and one walk, and his postseason line to 3-for-32 with 10 punchouts. He did, however, convert a key double play, when Jon Lester fielded a comebacker but made a poor throw that was wide of second. Drew managed to keep his foot on the bag and maintain enough balance to complete the twin-killing.

Shane Victorino seemed uncomfortable at the plate, first electing to bat left-handed against Sanchez (against whom he went 0-for-3) and then getting overmatched by a series of curveballs after switching around to hit right-handed against the right-handed Jose Veras.

– The run permitted by Tazawa broke a run of 17 1/3 scoreless innings by the Red Sox bullpen.




Audio On Demand

Mike Reiss with Dale, Hol…

Mike Reiss with Dale, Holley and Thornton

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- Roger Goodell is maddening! -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- A look at the AFC East post NFL Draft -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.

Game 6 and Hawks Series B…

Game 6 and Hawks Series Breakdown plus offseason preview with Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog

Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.

WEEI Celtics Podcast - Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown with ESPN's Chris Forsberg - 4/28/16

It wouldn't be a Celtics v Hawks Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown without ESPN's Celtics Whisperer Chris Forsberg joining Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for some WEEI Studio magic. They discuss the Hawks' transition dominance on their mega runs and the bizarre night for Isaiah Thomas. Of course they also answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions!

WEEI Celtics Podcast - Game 4 Recap/Game 5 Preview with ESPN's Chris Forsberg - 4/25/16

The boys recap Marcus Smart and Paul Millsap's incredible battle in the Celtics' Game 4 win over the Atlanta Hawks with ESPN's Chris Forsberg. Jared Weiss and Sam Packard discussed Jared Sullinger's struggles and the reemergence of Machine Bun Kelly. They discuss inside media stuff like when to applaud for honorees and Chris' devotion to southern unsweetened tea. Of course they answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions too.

5-01-16 Christian Vazquez…

5-01-16 Christian Vazquez Player Of The Game Interview

Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.

Rick Porcello Player of the Game Interview

Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, after he pitched 7 shutout innings against the Yankees Saturday night.

Bradfo Show: Brian Butterfield talks Hanley, Pablo, Patriots draft picks, message for Roger Goodell

Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield joined Rob Bradford to get his take on Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval. Butterfield, an avid Patriots fan, also predicts who the Pats might take in the second round, while giving a very pointed message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean…

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- A look toward the future for the Bruins -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.

SUNDAY SKATE with WEEI's DJ Bean and Uproxx's Pete Blackburn -- They got what they wanted...Claude Julien is staying in Boston -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.

Butch Stearns with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- The season is officially over for the Bruins; where do we go from here? -- 4-10-16

Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.

Headlines - The White Hou…

Headlines - The White House Correspondents Dinner, 5-2-16

Larry Wilmore and Barack Obama brought the house down and left the audience in stitches at the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner.

Mike Tyson endorses Donald Trump, 5-2-16

Donald Trump is enjoying the endorsement of convicted rapist, Mike Tyson.

The coddling of Jessica Mendoza continues, 5-2-16

Jessica Mendoza was on the broadcast last night as the Sox and Yankees played in Fenway Park. She continues to add limited insight while avoiding any and all criticism. Also, Lee in Rhode Island infuriated the guys with his Tom Brady phone call.

Reactions to the NFL draf…

Reactions to the NFL draft and Robert Kraft speaks to Patriots fans 5-2-16

Christian thinks the Patriots new quarterback, 3rd round pick Jacoby Brissett, absoluetely stinks and him, Lou and Glenn give you their take on this year's NFL draft. Also, Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks to Patriots fans to let them know he has Tom Brady's back.

Former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk discusses wearing a Tom Brady jersey at the draft on OMF 5-2-16

Kevin Faulk wore his tom Brady jersey to the NFL draft when announcing the Patriots' picks, and he joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about who had the idea (Dale Arnold) and Brady's reaction.

McScuse me, bitch?! 5-2-16

The guys have some fun with a YouTube video of an angry McDonalds customer after she wasn't offered a discounted McRib.

Complete Patriots draft b…

Complete Patriots draft breakdown with ESPN's Mike Reiss

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Discussing why the Patriots took a quarterback in this draft

Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Patriots selection of Jacoby Brissett and what that means for Tom Brady and his suspension, and more importantly Jimmy Garropolo.

Dale and Holley's Final Drive 05-02-16

We close out the show with the best soundbites of the day and weekend.

Planet Mikey Podcast - Ho…

Planet Mikey Podcast - Hour 4, 4-21-16

It’s all about the music – the crew touches on Prince, and the greatest bands of all time

Planet Mikey Podcast - Hour 3, 4-21-16

Mikey, Christian Arcand, and Chris Villani talk about the Sox horrific loss today, and MJ takes over the text line

Planet Mikey Podcast - Hour 2, 4-21-16

Mikey, Christian Arcand, and Chris Villani talk about the Sox horrific loss today, plus they’re joined by Cassie, the Textress

Butch & Tomase Podcast ta…

Butch & Tomase Podcast talking #Celtics with NBA analyst Kevin O'Connor

SB Nation's Kevin O'Connor joins Butch Stearns and John Tomase to talk all things Celtics' offseason, including the upcoming draft

Game 6 and Hawks Series Breakdown plus offseason preview with Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog - 4/29/16

Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.

Bradfo Show: Brian Butterfield talks Hanley, Pablo, Patriots draft picks, message for Roger Goodell

Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield joined Rob Bradford to get his take on Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval. Butterfield, an avid Patriots fan, also predicts who the Pats might take in the second round, while giving a very pointed message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Sausage announces his ret…

Sausage announces his retirement and Paul interviews for the job, 4-22-16

Sausage tells the guys that he's moving onto greener (read: more lucrative) pastures. His potential replacement, Paul, is interviewed for the job.

More from this show

Enough About Me - Ep. 11:…

Enough About Me - Ep. 11: Peter King

The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show's Bulldog, Kirk Minihane, talks with Peter King about what he learned from deflategate, having information he couldn't run with, and how long he will continue to report on the NFL.

More from this show

Federal appellate lawyer …

Federal appellate lawyer Raffi Melkonian gives his expert analysis on 2nd Circuit court's decision, 4-25-16

Glenn, Lou, and Christian check in with Raffi Melkonian to get his insight on the 2nd Circuit court's decision and what Tom Brady's options are going forward.

More from this show

SI's Peter King - I don't…

SI's Peter King - I don't think Deflategate is over yet

We check in for the national perspective on Tom Brady's reinstated suspension from MMQB/SI's Peter King

More from this show

Does Prince's drug use ch…

Does Prince's drug use change your opinion of him? 4-25-16

Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the reports surrounding Prince and his drug use.

More from this show

News & Analysis