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Roche: Random World Series Thoughts After Game 5

By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Dan Roche Dan Roche
Dan Roche is an award-winning sports anchor and reporter for WBZ-T...
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BOSTON (CBS) - Some random thoughts after Game 5 of the World Series as we head toward what could be a once-in-a-lifetime Game 6 Wednesday night at Fenway Park:

– The Red Sox treated Game 5 like a Game 7. I walked over to Dustin Pedroia to say ‘Hi’ and one of the first things he said to me was, “We gotta win tonight man!”  David Ortiz was the same way after Game 4.  In fact, David said to me that he guaranteed that the winner of Game 5 would win the series.

David Ortiz and Jon Lester in Game Five of the 2013 World Series. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

David Ortiz and Jon Lester in Game Five of the 2013 World Series. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

– David Ross was one of the first targets of general manager Ben Cherington when the nightmare of their 69-win 2012 season ended and the off-season began. He has already earned his two-year deal. The game he calls behind the plate, the timely hit he provided to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning and the never-say-die attitude he brings every day. He loves the game and it shows. He also is prepared, plays hard, and loves grinding it out.

– Grinding it out, relentless, won’t go away – those words describe this Sox team best. They can look real bad, as in setting the record for most strikeouts in the postseason, but they will find a way to produce. They will eventually put a good swing on a ball. Name a Sox player and you’ll find a big hit or at-bat this postseason. Ortiz, Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ross, Daniel Nava, Mike Napoli, Xander Bogaerts, Stephen Drew (huge walk in the seventh in Game Five), Jacoby Ellsbury… amazing.

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– I had no problem with the way John Farrell managed the seventh inning of Game Five. After a one-out single, Drew draws a walk, and then Ross delivers a ground-rule RBI double to give Boston a 2-1 lead. Farrell then let Jon Lester hit with runners on second and third instead of pinch-hitting with Mike Napoli. I totally agreed. Lester had been brilliant through six innings, throwing only 69 pitches. Farrell needed to get nine outs and he obviously thought Lester was his best guy to get at least some of them. He had also used Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara the night before. Lester got five outs and Uehara got the final four hitters.

– Lester was locked in again. The guy loves pitching in the postseason and is very matter-of-fact about it.

– Ditto for Uehara.

– I will say it over and over and over and over – don’t pitch to Ortiz! Big Papi is 11-for-15 in the World Series. Don’t pitch to him. Simple. He walks into the batter’s box, you walk him. End of story.

LISTEN: Roche On Toucher & Rich

– On to Game Six with a chance to close this thing out Wednesday night at Fenway. It seems appropriate that John Lackey, who has been through the ups and downs, anger and frustration in his brief Red Sox career, has a chance to close it out. Think about that one… Wow!

– The atmosphere at Fenway Wednesday will be electric! Lackey-Wacha 2 has a chance to be special.

– I don’t want a Game 7 on Halloween.  I just don’t.

Enjoy the games!

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

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