After two masterful performances from Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, the Detroit Tigers had to be feeling pretty good about themselves. Not only did they secure Game 1 on the road, but a victory in Game 2 was just four outs away while nursing a four run lead. Then to come home for the next three games? It was a dream scenario for the Tigers.
Unfortunately for Detroit, Big Papi is a night terror.
Called out of the bullpen to face David Ortiz, Joaquin Benoit left a fat pitch over the heart of the dish which Ortiz sent into the Boston sky, not only bringing them back from the verge of baseball death but swinging the momentum as the Red Sox would plate the game winning run just an inning later.
Lackey was efficiently solid against the Tigers this season, posting a 3.14 ERA against Detroit in two starts. His lone start at Comerica Ballpark went well, giving up just two earned runs in seven innings of work against a stout Tigers offense.
For Verlander, the same can’t be said. The Tigers’ go-to-pitcher was shellacked in his lone start against Boston this season, giving up four runs in five innings, though was spared a loss in the high scoring game. Verlander was also less impressive at home this season when compared to his away splits, though for his career Verlander has been downright dominating at home with a 3.09 ERA in 130 starts.
Game 3’s winner will take a 2-1 series advantage and put themselves in the drivers seat for what has essentially become a best-of-five.