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Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Sox need arms race stalemate
Injured or not, Cabrera is still a beast every time he steps in the box. The sizzling bat of old friend Victor Martinez was a major factor in the Tigers' series triumph over the A's. Prince Fielder is formidable protection for Cabrera. And Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta can all handle the bat, too. There's a reason why Detroit's offense was the AL's second-most prolific this season.
Rather, it's Detroit's ability to throw this season's earned run champion (Anibal Sanchez) in Game 1, then send this year's presumptive Cy Young Award winner (Max Scherzer) to the mound in Game 2, then give the ball to one of the game's most accomplished active pitchers (Justin Verlander) in Game 3. It rounds out the rotation with a right-hander who threw seven shutout innings at Fenway in early September (Doug Fister) in Game 4.
That leaves the Boston manager to draw one conclusion how his team can best combat that strength.
It's not impossible that the Sox could match the Tigers if each of their own starters pitches to their potential, though it's imperative that Boston's pitchers at least keep their club competitive. Thursday afternoon, the manager laid out his plans for whom he'll trust to make that happen.
In the Division Series, Farrell and the rest of Boston's brass opted to seize on John Lackey's splits, and gave him the ball in Game 2 because he was a much better pitcher at Fenway. They pushed Buchholz back to a potentially pivotal Game 3, then went with Jake Peavy for Game 4.
Dave D'Onofrio covers the Red Sox for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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