ALCS notebook: Scherzer, Buchholz prepare for rematch

Richard L. Shook, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- When Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer reprises his Game 2 matchup with Boston Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, one will be looking to send the team into the offseason while the other pitches to keep his team in the playoffs.
The American League Championship Series heads to Boston for Game 6 on Saturday after Game 5 on Thursday night determined which club would carry a 3-2 advantage into the weekend.
It is kind of a chess match when pitchers face the same team for the second time in a playoff series. Does a pitcher change things up? Does he go with what works for him?
"It changes because they're familiar with what I did," Scherzer said. "Obviously, they're going to be looking through the film and watching what I did, the sequences, the patterns, when I threw off-speed pitches and when I didn't.
"Obviously, I've got to be ahead of the curve. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do, but there will be things I do differently."
Scherzer pitched seven innings Sunday, allowing a run on two hits with two walks while striking out 13. However, Boston pulled out a 6-5 win after David Ortiz hit a grand slam to tie the score in the eighth. Buchholz went 5 2/3 innings in that game, allowing five runs on eight hits and giving up two home runs.
"There's quite a few (adjustments)," Buchholz said. "Less for them but more for me.
"Pitching in your division multiple times, you could see guys, they know what pitches I throw."
Facing a division opponent multiple times in a season is different than facing the same team twice in five days. In addition, sometimes a pitch that worked in the first meeting is off target in the rematch.
"I think there's something to be said for that," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Our guys remember in the Oakland series we had not seen Sonny Gray, and the first time around, he chewed us up pretty good. The second time around it was a combination of he wasn't as good and we had seen him."
NOTES: Xander Bogaerts, 21, started at third base for Boston in Game 5, replacing Will Middlebrooks, who was 1-for-10 in the series. Bogaerts had a pinch-hit double Wednesday, becoming the young Boston player to collect a postseason hit. ... The ALCS was tied 2-2 for the fifth time since the best-of-seven format was instituted in 1985. In each of the previous four, the Game 5 winner went on to take the series. ... Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits Wednesday, the second four-hit game of his postseason career. The other came in Game 3 of the 2007 World Series. ... Detroit RHP Al Alburquerque worked in each of the first four ALCS games, tying the record for most appearances by a Tigers reliever in a postseason series. ... 3B Miguel Cabrera passed 1B/OF Hank Greenberg's Detroit record for most playoff RBIs with two run-scoring singles Wednesday night. Cabrera entered Game 5 with 24 postseason RBIs in 33 games. Greenberg had 22 postseason RBIs in 23 games, all in the World Series.

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