Although the Red Sox looked like they were about to find themselves in a deep hole in the series, they battled back to even things up at a game apiece.
As Game 3 approaches in Detroit, there are five things the Red Sox can do to help them take the series from the Tigers:
Continue Working the Pitch Counts: Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, the Detroit starting pitchers in the first two games, both had no-hitters going well into both contests. However, in both cases, neither hurler lasted past the seventh inning because of rising pitch counts.
With Justin Verlander and Doug Fister still to make starts, the Red Sox will have their hands full with the dominant rotation. Fortunately, if they can survive the starters and get to the bullpen, which ranked 24th in the majors with a 4.01 ERA this season, they can give themselves a chance to win any game.
Boston must continue working the pitch counts, even if it isn't getting hits. Through two games, Red Sox batters have seen a total of 306 pitches, which works out to an impressive 4.19 per at-bat. If they can keep up that pace, they will have more opportunities to get swings against Detroit's mediocre relievers and increase their chances of victory.
Do the Little Things: The Red Sox have combined for just eight hits as a team through the first two games but have remained competitive by doing the little things at the plate.
The lineup has already drawn nine walks and been hit by a pitch. Even though they only started hitting late in Game 2, things have been close throughout the series because of these things that don't stand out in the box score.
Don't Be Afraid to Bunt: Something Boston hasn't done so far that could really help it is bunt -- especially down the third-base line.
Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera suffered injuries to his abdomen and leg towards the end of the regular season. From the way he has gingerly run the bases during the series, it's clear he is still not right.
With him appearing to be practically immobile at the hot corner, the Red Sox should be taking advantage of Cabrera's aches and pains. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they drop a steady stream of bunts his way until he or Detroit prove such a strategy can be defended.
With speedy experienced bunters like Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia, there is no shortage of Boston players with the ability to cause a great deal of damage without hitting the ball very far.
Use the Bullpen Liberally: Led by closer Koji Uehara and setup men Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow, the relievers have been a strength of the Red Sox all year. That trio alone combined for a 2.00 ERA during the regular season.
Through the first two games of the ALCS, Boston has done a good job of pulling its starting pitchers in the right situations and not let anything get too far out of hand. The bullpen has responded by tossing a combined six shutout innings.
With every game meaning so much, the bullpen should continue to be used in heavy doses as needed. Instead of mopping up the starters' mistakes, the relievers have and should continue to be used as weapons.
Continue Embracing the Beards: The Red Sox's obsession with scraggly and unruly facial hair has given them an identity on a national level this year. Silly as it may seem, it has also brought the team together as an incredibly close group with great chemistry.
While the beards won't give Boston any special powers, staying grounded in the sense of team that got it to the playoffs in the first place, following a 92-loss season in 2012, will be key to its ability to beat Detroit and head to the World Series.
Conclusion: The remainder of the ALCS will be an exciting affair. The Tigers are a powerful team with the players to stop any opponent in their tracks. However, if the Red Sox continue doing what they have done all season, and take advantage of the little things within their control, they'll put themselves in the best position to win and compete for their third World Series title in the past decade.
In addition to the Yahoo Contributor Network, Andrew Martin has written extensively for Bleacher Report and a number of print publications and websites on the topics of history and sports (particularly the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots). He also produces his own blog and has appeared on various sports talk shows and podcasts.
You can also follow Andrew on Twitter: @HistorianAndrew.
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