ALCS Game 2 grades: Red Sox stun Tigers with unlikely comeback

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

David Ortiz is a postseason hero once again. (USATSI)
David Ortiz is a postseason hero once again. (USATSI)

MORE: Game 2 quick hits | ALCS Game 2 box score

The Red Sox pulled off a stunning comeback win over the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday night, and now that we've caught our breath, let's pass out some report cards ...

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David Ortiz. Big Papi does it again in the postseason. He had one walk and one hit on the night, and that one hit was an eighth-inning grand slam to tie the score at 5-5. Stated another way, when Ortiz stepped up with two outs, the Sox had a 7.5 percent chance of winning the game. After he touched home plate, they had a 52.7 percent chance of winning.

AMax Scherzer. Another Detroit starter, another dominant outing. (Um, we'll get to the bullpen in a moment.) In Game 2, Scherzer went seven innings, gave up only one run on two hits, struck out 13 (a season high) and walked two. As well, he notched five ground-ball outs and threw 69 of his 108 pitches for strikes. Scherzer carried a no-hitter into the sixth, but what was also impressive is that he rebounded to retire four straight -- three by strikeout -- after giving up that first and only run. On Scherzer's next-to-last pitch of the night, his fastball hit 96. Still and yet, Detroit lost.
B+Dustin Pedroia. He made a sparkling play in the field in the third, in the sixth he drove in the only Boston run of the game with a double off the Monster, and then he kept the line moving in the eighth with a clutch single off Al Alburquerque. We know what happened next. That's more than enough to earn a solid grade, especially given the way Scherzer was pitching.
D-Clay Buchholz. He was quite good over the first five innings of his Game 2 start, but here's how his sixth inning went: fly out, homer, double, double, line out, homer, single. All it takes is one inning to undermine what had been a good night's work. If not for that eighth inning miracle, Buchholz would be the undisputed goat of Game 2.
FThe Detroit bullpen, to be specific. They frittered away not only a Scherzer gem but also -- and much more critically -- a four-run eighth-inning lead. Jim Leyland summoned five different relievers on Sunday night, and each of those five relievers gave up a run. Actually, here's the more telling tally for Tigers' pen in Game 2 ... Runs allowed: 5; outs recorded: 3.
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