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Roche: Random Thoughts After Terrific Red Sox Win

By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
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420x316-grad-roche Dan Roche
Dan Roche is an award-winning sports anchor and reporter for WBZ-TV...
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DETROIT (CBS) – Some random thoughts after a terrific 1-0 Game 3 ALCS Red Sox win.

–Everything John Lackey threw in the first inning was up. But, he was able to escape a 1st and 3rd jam by getting Victor Martinez to fly out to Jacoby Ellsbury to end it.

–The 17 minute power outage delay seemed to help Lackey. He settled into a nice groove with great location and had an outstanding fastball, slider, and curve and kept the Tiger hitters guessing all night. It was vintage John Lackey.

–Amazing how far the perception of Lackey has come, from chicken and beer to postseason hero.

–I asked Sox manager John Farrell if he prepared himself before walking out to take out Lackey with two outs in the seventh inning. Lackey was quite animated and mouthed a few words we can’t print here. However, Farrell shrugged it off and said he’d rather have him do that than simply hand him the ball, shrug his shoulders, and show zero emotion.

–Craig Breslow = Alan Embree

–Junichi Tazawa = Mike Timlin

–Koji Uehara = Keith Foulke

–Ho-hum, another brilliant start from a Tigers starting pitcher. The combined line from Sanchez-Scherzer-Verlander through three games: 21 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 9 BB, 35 K — and a 1-2 series deficit.

–Sox hitters have been no-hit into the fifth inning in each of the first three games and have struck out a total of 44 times in 27 innings. That is absurd, yet they’re still up two games to one.

–Sox players have each other’s backs, no question. The mere mention of Mike Napoli being 0-6 with six strikeouts and a walk prior to his seventh inning home run was dismissed by every player we spoke to. All they said was Napoli is always one swing away from changing a game at any time. They are right. Loyalty is also a big thing in postseason, and almost all the time, you will eventually be rewarded for it. I always go back to Terry Francona’s loyalty to Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn in 2004 when they both broke out at Yankee Stadium in the ALCS.

–I loved how Napoli changed his pants and rubbed Jonny Gomes beard prior to his at-bat in the seventh when he delivered the game-winning homer. Baseball superstitions are the best.

–David Ortiz looked and acted more excited after Napoli’s home run than after his grand slam in Game 2.

–Victor Martinez pulled up lame after his single to start the ninth inning. That’s a bad sign for Detroit, as he’s been their best hitter in this series.

–Since the ALCS went to a best-of-seven format in 1985, 17 of 22 teams that went up 2-1 have won the series.

–David Ortiz has now appeared in 64 postseason games in a Red Sox uniform, the most in team history.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.

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