The Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers were the two highest scoring teams from April to September. But now that the calendar has flipped to October, it's all about the guys on the mound in the race for the AL pennant.
Last night was no exception. Tigers starter Justin Verlander went eight innings with 10 strikeouts, and that still wasn't enough to get Detroit the win.
The difference maker in the game was a Mike Napoli solo home run in the 7th inning; that was the first and last run scored in this one. Napoli got his first major league hit off Verlander too, and it just so happened to be a home run.
“He's definitely grown, I've definitely grown. You just have to make adjustments. Didn't really throw too much of a slider back then, he threw really hard, had a curveball and a changeup. We all watch video and get game plans, and have a plan of what he's gonna do to you and what he's done to you in the past. And that's what I go after.” Napoli said.
As for the other pitcher, John Lackey went 6 2/3 strong innings, and was still trying to stay in the game when manager John Farrell went to go get him. The bullpen came through for him though, with Koji Uehara getting the four out save. Farrell was proud of the effort that Lackey put in.
“A guy with playoff experience has pitched on the biggest stage the game has to offer. This is a veteran with a lot of success in the past, including postseason success. And given the challenges he's come through and his time here in Boston, we're glad he's not only come back from Tommy John but put in the work to get back to the form he had pre-injury.”
Tonight's game will see Jake Peavy head to the mound for Beantown, while Doug Fister takes the bump for Detroit. And Fister is expecting a battle.
“Both teams never say die. They compete until the last out. And it showed Boston did that in the last game obviously. So we gotta go out there and play every out, and make sure we get everything done.” Fister said.
All the action gets underway tonight at 8, and you can catch it right here on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 7pm.