DETROIT (CBS) – Some random Red Sox thoughts after Boston’s 4-3 Game 5 win in the ALCS here in Detroit Thursday night:
– John Farrell continues to masterfully manage his way through this postseason. He’s pulled starting pitchers at the right time, letting the bullpen shut other teams down time and time again.
– The trio of Breslow-Tazawa-Uehara just continues to dominate. Three and two-thirds innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball in Game 5 with Uehara closing it out again. The Boston closer has been amazing during this series.
– A critical point in Game 5 – the Tigers with runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out in the bottom of the 7th inning. Tazawa was facing Miguel Cabrera, and as you would expect, Tazawa threw everything outside and out of the strike zone. Cabrera was up in the count and looked to be headed towards a walk. But Cabrera tried to do too much and swung at an out-of-the-strike-zone pitch and hit into a 4-3 double play. A run scored to make it 4-3, but instead of taking the walk and having the bases loaded and nobody out, there were two out and nobody on. Prince Fielder then grounded out — inning and pretty much ball game over.
– Mike Napoli’s home run was crushed to the tune of 460 feet to dead center field. David Ortiz and company were amazed at the power, especially with it so cold and raw. Craig Breslow told me that with the bullpen doors shut he couldn’t hear the 40-thousand plus fans cheering, but could clearly hear the crack of Napoli’s bat on that swing.
– It was fun to watch the first MLB postseason start for Xander Bogaerts. He was flawless at third base and added a double in Boston’s 3-run second inning against Anibal Sanchez. At 21 years old, he is the youngest player to start a postseason game in the history of the franchise.
– John Farrell told me that sitting Will Middlebrooks was one of those “can’t sleep,” tough decisions he wrestled with making. Middlebrooks was disappointed, but understood. He also got in during the 9th inning as a pinch-runner and went all the way to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt, but didn’t score.
– David Ross took a body blow on a collision play at the plate to end the first inning when Miguel Cabrera tried to score on a Jhonny Peralta single to left. Cabrera was easily thrown out by Jonny Gomes and thus banged into Ross to try to jar the ball loose. Then in the second, Ross tried to score from third on a ground ball to second and second baseman Omar Infante threw out Ross at home, but not before Ross completely crushed Alex Avila,who hurt his knee and eventually had to leave the game. Hard-nosed baseball by an old school ball player. Amazing how these two teams are going at each other so hard.
– I wish Jose Iglesias was coming back to Boston as the starting shortstop. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the trade that brought Jake Peavy to Boston, but Iglesias and his glove are special to watch, that jaw-dropping catch will be remembered for a long time to come. I also think these type of plays will be made on a routine basis in Detroit for many years to come.
– Strange stats time: no Red Sox team that’s been 2-2 in a series has gone on to win that series – ever! Also, from 2008-to-2011, teams that took a 3-2 lead lost each time. We’ll see if the Sox can reverse that trend.
– Enjoy Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7. It’s been a great series so far and let’s hope it ends in a great way.
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