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Red Sox seek answers for Scherzer

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 13, 2013 01:13 PM

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Max Scherzer, believe it or not, has a 7.02 earned run average in eight career starts against the Red Sox.

Over 14 innings in two starts this season, however, he allowed only four runs on 11 hits and struck out 14. So you can expect the Red Sox to make some significant lineup alternations for Game 2 of the ALCS tonight.

Mike Carp was told before he left the clubhouse on Saturday night that he would be playing first base. Mike Napoli is 1 for 13 in his career against Scherzer and 2 for 16 in the postseason.

Jonny Gomes also will start in left field in place of Daniel Nava, who is 1 for 9 against Scherzer.

Scherzer has overwhelmed righthanded batters this season. They hit .165 against him in the regular season with a comically low .494 OPS. The Red Sox desperately need lefty hitters David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Stephen Drew to step up. Switch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia, too. He's far better from the left side and is 5 for 12 against Scherzer in his career.

It's also worth noting that Shane Victorino batted righthanded against Scherzer in his first three-bats against him on Sept. 3, then hit lefthanded in his final at-bat in the eighth inning. He fouled out to the catcher.

Victorino gave up batting lefthanded for most of the final two months of the season because he was protecting a sore left hamstring. Then it just became practical because he was hitting so well righthanded.

Now, given Scherzer's wipeout stuff against righthanders, Victorino could change. He said Saturday that was under consideration.

Game 2 is not a must win. By definition that's only the case if the season ends with a loss. But being down 0-2 going to Detroit for three games is certainly not where the Red Sox want to be.

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