In an attempt to awaken the Tigers' dormant offense manager Jim Leyland dropped leadoff hitter Austin Jackson to the No. 8 spot in the order for Game 4 here Wednesday night. It worked. Jackson reached base three times and drove in two runs in an ALCS-squaring 7-3 victory. It's your move John Farrell. The Red Sox have scored a total of 10 runs in the series' four games four of which came in Game 2 on David Ortiz' grand slam. And even though they recorded 12 hits in Game 4 they also went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Stephen Drew (1-for-13 six strikeouts) and Will Middlebrooks (1-for-10 five strikeouts) have been conspicuous in their slumps even prompting Farrell after the Game 4 loss to admit "we're struggling a little bit to get production out of that (left) side of the infield." And so it's almost a guarantee that rookie Xander Bogaerts will be in the lineup for Game 5 Thursday night. "It's something that's being considered for sure" Farrell said. The only question it seems is whether Bogaerts will replace Drew or Middlebrooks and based on almost everything Farrell has said or done throughout the season Middlebrooks figures to be the odd-man out. After all Farrell stuck with Drew early in the season after Jose Iglesias started out strong and when Iglesias returned from Triple A and continued his hot streak it was Middlebrooks not Drew who was displaced. Then there's this: Asked before Game 4 about Drew's overall postseason struggles (he went only 2-for-15 in the Division Series against Tampa Bay) Farrell noted that it's still a relatively small sample size and cited bad luck as much as bad at-bats for Drew's numbers.
Xander Bogaerts 'being considered' for start in Game 5
Boston Herald | Oct 17