ALCS Schedule 2013: When and Where to Catch Remainder of Series
Fear not, Detroit Tigers fans, for there's still plenty of time to turn this series around.
The Boston Red Sox won 1-0 on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the ALCS. But with the way the series has gone, it could easily swing back in Detroit's favor. The margin for error has been so small that you could easily see Detroit up 3-0—or even Boston with a 3-0 lead.
While the 2013 ALCS hasn't exactly been accommodating to the casual fans, to the the more nuanced of baseball fans, this has been a thrilling series from the start. Anibal Sanchez left Game 1 with a no-hitter, while David Ortiz's grand slam in Game 2 provided some drama and excitement. Those are the moments that get remembered when fans look back on a postseason.
That was followed up by more sterling pitching performances, this time courtesy of John Lackey and Justin Verlander.
With any luck, the rest of the series will continue unfolding in the same way.
Here's the schedule for the rest of the series, via MLB.com:
|Game||Matchup||Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|4||Red Sox @ Tigers||Wed., Oct. 16||8 p.m.||FOX||Postseason.tv|
|5||Red Sox @ Tigers||Thur., Oct. 17||8 p.m.||FOX||Postseason.tv|
|6*||Tigers @ Red Sox||Sat., Oct. 19||4:30 p.m.||FOX||Postseason.tv|
|7*||Tigers @ Red Sox||Sun., Oct. 20||8 p.m.||FOX||Postseason.tv|
Note: * denotes game may not be necessary.
Will Boston's Offense Find Consistency?
Entering the series, Boston had one of the best offenses in the league. The Red Sox scored the most runs during the regular season and had the second-highest team batting average to go along with the highest slugging percentage.
In short, hitting the ball and driving in runs shouldn't have been a problem for the Sox. At least, you wouldn't have thought it would be.
In Game 1, Boston had one hit. In Game 2, the bats were silent until the eighth inning, and the team had to rely on a David Ortiz grand slam to get back into the game. Then, the Sox had four hits in Game 3. Luckily, one of those hits was Mike Napoli's solo homer.
The experts have always talked about how great pitching beats great hitting, and you're seeing exactly why in this series.
The Red Sox will have to get a little more consistency in their offense if they're going to advance to the World Series. Surely they can't continue relying on late-inning heroics or grinding out 1-0 wins. It leaves so little room for error that it's not a sustainable strategy for success.
Will Detroit's Bullpen Sink the Entire Team?
Coming into the season, the biggest question mark was always the performance of the bullpen. So much money was spent on the offense and starting rotation that the bullpen was neglected a bit.
Throughout the regular season, the relievers were able to hold leads for the most part and get the Tigers through to a win. The bullpen wasn't so bad that it cost Detroit the division title or the series against the Oakland Athletics in the first round. And Joaquin Benoit didn't implode.
However, Game 2 of the ALCS illustrated exactly why so many questioned the back end of the Tigers' pitching staff. After Max Scherzer left with a four-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, little by little, the bullpen threw the game away until Ortiz's grand slam tied it up in the bottom of the eighth.
While Detroit's bullpen isn't the worst in the league, it could be bad enough that it costs the Tigers another game, which could prove to be the difference in the series.
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