Looking to shake things up following a stunning one-hit performance in Game 1 of the ALCS, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell will be making two noteworthy changes to his lineup in Game 2. As first reported by WEEI.com, Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp will be inserted into the lineup against Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer, replacing Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava.
Of course, it was Nava who provided Boston's only base hit in Game 1, a bloop single to center field with one out in the ninth inning. But that doesn't hold much water on Sunday as he's 1 for 9 in his career against Scherzer with two strikeouts. The numbers are even uglier for Napoli — he's 1 for 13 with five strikeouts lifetime against the likely Cy Young winner.
Their replacements are a combined 4 for 14 against Scherzer, so it's not a real large sample size to analyze for Ferrell. But obviously he feels like Carp and Gomes —hitting 5th and 6th respectively — will provide a boost to a lineup that typically doesn't need one.
Another change many felt might be coming was 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts starting over Will Middlebrooks at third base. Ferrell actually pinch-hit for Middlebrooks late in Game 1, but is sticking with his starter perhaps remembering Middlebrooks' two-run single against Scherzer in Boston's 2-1 win on Sept. 3.
Bottom line, there's a lot of thinking going on in the Boston clubhouse, perhaps even too much thinking as an 0-2 start in the ALCS looms, but it's the opposite for Scherzer and the Tigers.
"Really, it all comes down to — you can mention all those things they're very good at — it comes down to attacking the hitters and making sure I'm working ahead in the count," Scherzer said. "I've got to be 1-2 before I'm 2-1. All the simple things in pitching. If I don't do that, it's going to make it an extremely uphill battle for me. If I feel like I'm working ahead in the count, I feel like I can be successful. And that's the recipe for success."
Jim Leyland's only change against Clay Buchholz will be Don Kelly moving into the lineup for Jose Iglesias. That means Jhonny Peralta moves from left field to shortstop.
What do you make of the changes made by Boston in Game 2? Too much tweaking early in a series? Not enough? Or is Ferrell's lineup spot on?