Saturday's Red Sox-Tigers ALCS matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Max Scherzer

October 19, 2013 - 9:25 am
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Coming off of a pressure-filled Game 5 victory in the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox will look to advance to their third World Series in less than 10 years on Saturday night, as Clay Buchholz will face off against Detroit in Game 6 of the ALCS at Fenway Park. It certainly won't be an easy task for the Sox, as they will have to deal with Detroit starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who has amassed a 2-0 record and a 2.25 ERA in three postseason games this year. Game 5 of the ALCS was a nail-biter for both the Red Sox and their fans. After scoring four runs off of Game 1 hero Anibal Sanchez, the Sox saw their once-comfortable lead dwindle as the game progressed, as Detroit scored in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to cut the deficit to just one run. Thankfully for the Red Sox, closer Koji Uehara entered the contest in the eighth inning and put the game away with a five-out save, giving Boston the 4-3 win and a 3-2 series lead. Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) will be looking to redeem himself after a lackluster effort in Game 2. Buchholz started strong, only allowing one run and striking out six over his first five innings of work. However, it all fell apart in the next inning, as the right-hander allowed five straight hits, including home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila, before being pulled. Buchholz finished the night with a stat line of 5 2/3 innings pitched, five earned runs, six strikeouts and zero walks. However, Buchholz did not receive the loss in the game, as the Red Sox would make a comeback in the later innings thanks in large part to the bats of David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Red Sox would go on to win the game by a score of 6-5, evening up the series at one apiece. "My execution wasn't nearly as sharp," Buchholz said after the game. "I felt like I was sort of throwing through my delivery rather than staying in it, and the pitches ended up being in the middle and up over the plate, and you can't leave pitches up to a team like this because they are going to make you pay for it, and that's what they did." Buchholz has had success in his career against Detroit, as he has compiled a record of 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA in eight career starts. Scherzer, now in his fourth season with Detroit, had a career year in 2013, as the 29-year-old righty led the American League in wins (21) and WHIP (0.97) while finishing second in strikeouts (240) and fifth in ERA (2.90). The AL Cy Young Award favorite was incredible in his Game 2 start, as he held the potent Sox lineup to just two hits and one run over seven innings of work while striking out 13. Boston has had success against Scherzer, as the Sox handed him one of his few losses on the year back on Sept. 3. Despite the loss, Scherzer has posted great numbers against Boston this season with a 1-1 record, 2.57 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings over two starts. Tigers vs. Buchholz (RHP) Torii Hunter (31 plate appearances): .148 BA/.258 OBP/.222 SLG, 2 doubles, 6 strikeouts Miguel Cabrera (28): .250/.321/.458, 1 home run, 4 RBIs Austin Jackson (24): .227/.292/.455, 1 home run, 4 strikeouts Jhonny Peralta (22): .300/.318/.400, 2 doubles, 7 RBIs Alex Avila (14): .455/.571/.909, 4 RBIs, 3 walks Omar Infante (12): .273/.333/.455, 1 triple, 1 strikeout Prince Fielder (10): .222/.300/.333, 1 double, 3 strikeouts Victor Martinez (9): .250/.333/.500, 2 doubles, 1 RBI Andy Dirks (5): .400/.400/1.000, 1 home run, 1 RBI Don Kelly (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 strikeout Ramon Santiago (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Jose Iglesias, Brayan Pena and Hernan Perez have not faced Buchholz. Red Sox vs. Scherzer (RHP) David Ortiz (21 plate appearances): .412 BA/.524 OBP/1.000 SLG, 3 home runs, 6 RBIs Dustin Pedroia (20): .250/.250/.600, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs Jacoby Ellsbury (15): .455/.600/.818, 1 home run, 5 RBIs Jarrod Saltalamacchia (15): .333/.333/.533, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts Stephen Drew (14): .154/.214/.308, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Mike Napoli (14): .077/.143/.077, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Shane Vitorino (13): .250/.308/.333, 1 double, 4 strikeouts Mike Carp (12): .182/.250/.182, 2 singles, 7 strikeouts Daniel Nava (10): .111/.200/.111, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (9): .222/.222/.222, 2 singles Will Middlebrooks (8): .125/.125/.125, 6 strikeouts David Ross (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 strikeout Quintin Berry and Xander Bogaerts have not faced Scherzer.

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