Once through each team's rotation. The Tigers SPs did much better than the Red Sox. John Lackey was the only Sox starter who outclassed his opponent. Jon Lester was good, but not as good as Anibel Sanchez. Clay Buchholz wasn't good, and Jake Peavy was godawful. Only Detroit's bullpen struggles, Lackey's great start, and David Ortiz's grand slam have kept the series tied 2-2.
Jake Peavy didn't have it Wednesday night. Maybe if Dustin Pedroia turns a double-play then Peavy gets out of the jam and who knows. I'm not going to blame Pedroia for Peavy's poor pitching, though. Pedroia had one chance to bail Peavy out. Peavy had several opportunities to bail himself out.
It's easy to say this in hindsight: I wanted Peavy to be pulled when it was 4-0. He looked terrible. He struggled to throw strikes. And the strikes he threw were far too hittable. Brandon Workman or Ryan Dempster at least provided the possibility that the score would remain 4-0. And if it had, as the Red Sox scored a scattering of runs in the late innings, who knows what might have happened.
Then again, maybe Workman enters in the 2nd inning and gives up three straight homeruns. Who knows.
The Red Sox continue to struggle at the plate. Although in this game they scored their second most runs of the series. They also recorded 12 hits, which is how many they had in Games 1 through 3 combined. They out-hit the Tigers 12 to 9. However the Tigers were 4 for 9 with runners in scoring position, the Sox were 2 for 16. It isn't how many hits you get, it's when you get them.
Jacoby Ellsbury had 4 of those hits, and they mostly wasted. Shane Victorino, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli went a combined 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. That's the 2 through 5 hitters, that's where the offensive production is supposed to be generated.
On the bright side, this is essentially now a best of three series and the Red Sox have homefield advantage. On the not-so-bright side they have to face Sanchez, Scherzer, and Verlander, and win two of three. Which they already have.
Game 5 Thursday night. Anibal Sanchez against Jon Lester. Time for Lester to be an Ace again.
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports