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

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 ... 


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. 

A Max 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. 
F The 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. 
CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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