Red Sox Game 3 preview: The quest to vex Justin Verlander
Obviously the Red Sox cannot count on late inning magic every night and at some point, the Sox need to have some success against a Tigers starter if they want to advance to this year’s World Series.
While it’s hard to imagine a pitcher having more success than Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer had against the Sox in Games 1 and 2, respectively, the red-hot Justin Verlander could very well do just that Tuesday (4 p.m., FOX) in the Motor City.
In Verlander’s last outing, a Game 5 ALDS win over the A’s last Thursday, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He has allowed just six total hits in two starts this postseason and has struck out 21 batters while allowing a grand total of zero runs.
Despite his recent run as, arguably, the best pitcher in baseball these last three years, the Red Sox have fared relatively well against Verlander. In the past three seasons, the Sox have gone 3-3 against the Tigers in games that Verlander has started. He has worked an average of 6.1 innings against Bostn and has allowed an average of 2.5 runs while clocking in at 112 pitches per game. Strangely enough, the mighty 2012 Red Sox accounted for two of those wins.
Only two Red Sox have homered against Verlander during the three year stretch, both coming in a May 19, 2011 game in which David Ortiz and JD Drew each took the one-time Cy Young Award winner deep.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS