Up until the bottom of the ninth inning, it seemed as though the Boston Red Sox would pull off a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. But with one swing of the bat, Rays catcher Jose Lobaton smacked a walk-off solo home run (419 feet) off Koji Uehara to keep the team’s hopes alive.
As timely as Lobaton’s home run was, the Rays cannot simply depend on last-minute heroics to best a powerhouse like the Red Sox. The Rays will need Game 4 starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson to deal more like his 2012 self (a park-adjusted 124 ERA+) and less like his 2013 self (a 74 ERA+).
And even though the Red Sox own a convincing one-game lead over the Rays, Uehara’s 2013 postseason 5.40 ERA is worrisome.
Read on to see keys to each team winning Game 4 of the ALDS.