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Sox must beat either Scherzer or Verlander

10/18/2013

If the Red Sox (up 3-2) are going to advance to their third World Series in 10 years, they’re going to have to beat either likely Cy Young winner Max Scherzer or former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, who has given up exactly one run in his past five starts. Scherzer is scheduled to start Saturday’s Game 6 of the ALCS at Fenway Park and Verlander will go Sunday (if necessary).

Scherzer had a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Game 2 and ended up giving up one run over seven innings. Verlander gave up his first hit in the fifth inning and went eight total in Game 3, the one blemish the homer by Mike Napoli that turned out to be the game-winner.

The Red Sox were a combined 6 for 50 (.120 BA) against Scherzer and Verlander in Games 2 and 3, with two extra-base hits and 23 strikeouts. No Red Sox batter had more than one hit combined off either starter. David Ortiz, Mike Carp, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks were a combined 0 for 18 with 10 strikeouts.

Scherzer and Verlander made back-to-back starts 19 times during the regular season. In those games, the Tigers won both games seven times, split the two starts 11 times and lost both once.