When the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox started a weekend series at Fenway Park in mid-May, the Tigers were just cruising. They entered that series with a 24-12 record, swept the Red Sox in 3 games and exited Fenway with a 27-12 record overall, including 11 straight road wins.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, were just staying afloat, sittin at .500 with a 20-20 record. That three game sweep was apart of an awful 10-game losing streak. Maybe they were suffering from World Series hangover, a good problem to have, by the way, or maybe they were just going through the motions of a long 162-game season.
Anyway, after that 10 game losing streak, they ripped off 7 consecutive wins, but then they proceeded to get swept by the Cleveland Indians. They are either hot or cold, there is no in between with this team.
The Tigers were doing everything well, they were hitting, they were pitching, they were fielding. They seemed destined to just cruise back into the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
Something happened in that Red Sox series, because they have only been 4-13 since leaving Fenway. To be fair, it is a 162-game season and sometimes you just have to pace yourself, whether that means resting a starting pitcher, a closing pitcher, or a position player.
They could just be tired, and this series could be what they need to wake them up.
Game 1 tonight will feature Red Sox pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, who pitched 7 scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays against Tigers young gun Drew Smyly, who had a great start to the season but he hasn’t been able to pitch more than 5 innings in his past three starts and hasn’t had a win since May 3rd.
Game 2 features Jon Lester and last year’s Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who has been Detroit’s most consistent pitcher for the past two years. Two pitchers with six wins and ERA’s below 3.20 always make for good games, so expect a pitcher’s duel.
The last game of this important three-game set will feature John Lackey and Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez was the winning pitcher in that Sunday night game that completed the Red Sox sweep and, he’s been absolutely remarkable since returning from the DL, giving up only 4 runs in 27 1/3 innings.
Big series for both teams, Detroit is currently on a 5-game losing streak, and Boston riding a 3-game losing streak. These teams met in the ALCS last season, so they are both better than what they are playing like currently.
One of these teams has to take at least 2 out of 3 and send the other team home angry.
Something’s gotta give after all.
– Khristian Peel