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Detroit's rotation led the American League with a 3.44 ERA, but its bullpen struggled. It ranked 24th in baseball with a 4.01 ERA. Opponents hit .246 against the bullpen, 18th in the majors, so there are a lot of concerns late in the game.
Manager Jim Leyland went with Scherzer late in Game 4 rather than a reliever because he couldn't trust a reliever to keep the game tied.
Six different players recorded saves for the Tigers, and eight were credited with at least one blown save.
Joaquin Benoit has been solid this year. He converted 24 of 26 save opportunities and finished the season with a 4-1 record and a 2.01 ERA. Benoit saved two games in the ALDS. The right-hander struck out 73 batters and walked only 22 in the regular season.
However, getting to Benoit has been an issue.
Drew Smyly was the only other reliever with an ERA below 3.00. The only other two relievers with at least 49 appearances, Al Alburquerque and Phil Coke, both had an ERA above 4.59.
There were a lot of moving pieces in the bullpen this season. Seventeen different pitchers made a relief appearance for Detroit in 2013, and not many of them had success.
The key for Boston will be patience. The Red Sox ranked third in baseball with 581 walks, so working the count to get Detroit's starters out of the game early will be important. Scherzer will attack the strike zone, but Boston needs to work the count in order to get to the bullpen.
Although the Tigers went five games with the A's, their relievers threw the third-fewest innings in the first round. Limiting the number of pitching changes is its goal, but Boston has to press the issue.
Detroit is at its best when its starters go deep into games, and Boston can't afford to let Scherzer pitch past the sixth inning.