Oct 20, 2013|
The Red Sox defeated the Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS at Fenway last night to punch their ticket to the World Series and complete one of the biggest one year turnarounds in the history of sports. Alex Speier has been covering the team all year and discusses how they were able to do this from great starting to pitching to great bullpen work to the leadership of John Farrell. He also starts to preview the World Series matchup against the Cards.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
That was the call from joke a stately -- last night here on Sports Radio WEEI as Shane Victorino had the big blast his Grand Slam in the seventh inning. Help propel the Red Sox to the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The best beat reporter in Boston joins us right now on the AT&T hotline AT&T is the nation's fastest now the most reliable -- GL TE network. Alex beer from WEEI dot com as well that's good morning Alex. More than any slate. He marched no. Dawson I have a feeling it's gonna be that way for another ten days or so. Yeah -- -- I'm sure that's it that's credible and the remarkable thing about this period in time I mean you know it not from my vantage point but certainly from that of the players like two hours. There there are required to. It is spend at the park and on the field -- so. Atypical and bizarre every day they're finishing up you know at midnight 1 in the morning. It contributes to that you go to the unbelievable playoff atmosphere wondered you know certain generation for quite a bit but -- -- setting that aside like the insert it took. Adds to the intensity. In the feeling of of just all encompassing. Run through October which is part of the reason why. It's a pretty amazing thing to watch. Jim Leland he had the perfect assessment of the series last night after the game he said quote I thought their starters were good. I thought their bullpen was great on quote and that really was the whole series in a nutshell. Yeah -- go figure affected that the Red Sox anticipated weak link really in terms of their roster. Ended up being not being as strong it was a it was a pretty noteworthy development. The Red Sox are the Red Sox bullpen had to had basically the best league championship series in Major League history there'd never before been. In the eighteen to produce twenty innings out of the bullpen and yell yes. Was in the area as well as what they had within zero point three mark. And you know obviously be the anchor there was was -- who -- close like surprisingly. Unbelievable. -- -- after the game. We're just you know he obviously he was pretty yet but doubt but you're just like what is up what -- I don't know like you know he just throws strikes like. Broke ball and there's something human. He did not he did not throw balls up and talks. Behind him Belichick and that's what really ended up being the operator in the air because. Who would have thought really -- on a day when the Red Sox got just I didn't I putts hitting out of Clay Buchholz. It would have been in position. To get a combination of four shutout innings from the Brandon Workman of the world as well as to sit Junichi knowledgeable of thinking is excellent work. Gregg -- close obviously in tremendous throughout the course of this postseason and then. Wrapping up with who so. You're you know both UN gently encourage highlights -- he thought that the Red Sox strength in -- in any ground. Or any phase of the policy was going to be their middle relief. And surprisingly enough that's precisely what happens. With coaching you -- I now know how yankees fans felt whenever Mariano Rivera came in at the game. Because as you said not only do I not think he's gonna give up hitter Iran. I don't think he's -- -- ball. It was funny to watch it talks of pay insurance in the aftermath of that because he was really nervous throughout the course of the game not Bradford has really get peace. On WEEI dot com right now kind of documentary where a number of people are where and how a number of people experienced the victory in a Grand Slam. It wasn't anywhere where he could see the field you're back in an office because you're so nervous in -- description was. Yielding kind of like game or fun for me rather than incredibly anxious where -- victory noted the Grand Slam he said that was fun. And in the final three outs of the game because that's the kind of security blanket but he now has. But you know that he has from coach you -- -- -- to the fact that he has struck out. -- you struck out something like seventy batters while walking two guys. Shouldn't be kind of since he got the cruise well you execute. What is done it is certainly extraordinary. And it is difficult to match with the Red Sox would be in this position. Had it not been for the fact that you're not only been. It's actually great over the course of this run. But also really surprisingly durable in his -- given his history leading up to their season and and you know -- -- ability question really that made him. An option for the Red Sox on their on a relatively you know affordable paper coaching deal when you're four when you buy a million dollars. For a guy who's been far and away the best. Is that the best and most effective reliever in baseball this year. I think John Ferrell has had a remarkable run managing this team over the course of the first two rounds of the playoffs. His decisions for the most part of the right -- even when I questioned them. Having said that when he brought Franklin Morales in last night man was I first guessing him. Yeah -- -- -- -- it was a tricky when I mean it I think it yesterday represented the first time that we saw. There'll unable to unable to manage a bullpen exactly as she would move on to do so I meant meaning that. And he's performed so well I guess that I -- that Jake Peavy Jake you can start. In game four also represented and simple of that I've urgent effectively unless a -- -- but he matches for a short stroke or while I'm. Very Carroll could go to kind of between the bullpen. Without significant announcements where in this instance it's the first under threats such led. But they got their starter to a point where they needed to make you called me a few laps earlier than they've won at Q. Which is like -- first line of defense wasn't. That trio that we've become accustomed to seeing. Namely developer as well who are in the game but instead. It ended up being you know Franklin Morales who I think it was probably in the last series in the highly leveraged role. For -- -- per person and you know bring him in baseball left in fielder aren't inferior that's a nice matchup because. Morale is really a couple of chambers but. He just had a difficulty throwing strikes and the fact he's only been here occasionally. Probably amplifies that to the point where. Where he could see he was -- he was not the right solution for that moment. He you'd I think that it was indeed -- to a second -- -- decision on that front. In retrospect my guess is that. You might have gone directly bring to work mean especially seeing know what that can make -- -- -- in terms of inheriting. Is an awfully Dicey situation. In stifling it completely. He's going forward if there isn't he for a matchup left yeah I wonder whether -- not few extra ground by -- because. In his limited exposure in the ALCS he actually threw quite well and was. A more aggressive strict sort it was Morales but yeah there there -- sure there are your first -- but when you're talking about. About having this like this shingle identifiable first Jets and -- -- a couple of other instances where perilous. I was very aggressive in terms of -- and maneuvering. Indy could have backfired but this with you when we're certainly did. That's a pretty good run over the course so over the course what can play -- games now. And you talked about Breslow and Junichi tiznow -- and Koji you'll -- And you go back to the 2004 World Series and you think about Williamson timlin. And fall in this bullpen the back to this bullpen has the same feel that that had in 2004. Yeah well I had very -- 2004 and for that matter it doesn't for people and both are both kind of -- some apply to poking through email or call. Was an interesting one because -- talks and a grueling ninety reeling off nineteen straight postseason shutout inning. And understand. In the -- out of their bullpen even though they basically had no real bullpen structure to Davenport -- fault it -- there's there's. What -- harder than the heat and is very much comparable to what fault and 24 and up on represented. You know in 2004 and she doesn't have respectively namely. You -- -- not just three outs and -- kind of ago you know five out of the time and there may come a point where we see him. To -- six outs in not in a single outing. And you know he wait -- that that gives there'll be ability to kind of get those other relievers to precisely that went to -- Has been really equates to fifteen and then again and -- eligibility to just Wear out that one spot. When attacking Miguel Cabrera at the same fashion over and over and over exploiting the fact that you simply didn't have a pace. To swing out open to get to that outside fastball. You know that that end up being obviously. You to be really interesting to see how -- an -- and employed. In the in the World Series because you know it usage pattern was so obviously the series. You're the guy to come in for that Miguel Cabrera moment well. The Cardinals don't have the same phenomenon of a guy who is limping. Who can handle our stuff from our -- so it it'll be interesting to see how it matches up but resolute ability to get out both. Righty and lefties. Has been pretty transformed -- -- allowed. -- Look really Smart managing that bullpen. When you look at the Detroit Tigers starting staff and the remarkable strike out numbers that they posted against the Red Sox in this series. It seems as though the Red Sox either hit a home run they struck out. Looking ahead -- of the World Series in the Saint Louis cardinal staff I don't think it's quite it's overpowering. It's good but if you if you had matched up the two starting staffs I would've given Detroit the edge in that regard. I would certainly agree I actually hit one through four especially you -- -- it with a tiger you're looking at age that it truly historic steps they were. They set the regular season record for most strikeouts in they set and oh yes tracker or strike out. Just unbelievable power -- top to bottom and I think that the Red Sox. In doing their parents work kind of saw that tiger is being. A pretty daunting threat because of the arms they just kept rolling out their starting staff obviously their leader or -- different story but. You know you you begin with the rotation. The Cardinals have a very good staff attempted especially. The that that you got the the front of Wainwright walked out of our post. Guys let's just electric stuff. It's been I think that there's a little bit more vulnerability behind them and you would interstate it was with the Tigers I guess that is simple sort of put it is. It's not like the Cardinals have there ER the other regular season Gary changing waiting to be there for starter. I hate the fact that the two leagues play under different rules I think there should either be a DH in both leagues are not a DH and I think there should be a DH in both leagues. Having said that the rules are what they are half. Having said that that means we're gonna get to see David Ortiz at first base in Saint Louis 'cause I don't see how you take him out of the lineup at all. Yeah having to choose between Ortiz and -- keep him and Napoli depending on on which Napoli -- visit the played at a given moment. It's a pretty striking development fitness pros that. You know it would be. Sorry in my room or part -- But there would be different scenario or five -- and the Cardinals just had. You know based singularly overpowering left hander Randy Johnson -- but. Yeah. And to -- I don't know how. You can take giving Turkey a lineup for I guess. I guess I should think that just slightly because you know think back to -- really yesterday's lineup basically where -- at Mike Napoli. Coming off of what he did that. Against the Tigers in Detroit right where in which yet for stories it's over the course supposed to regain market -- achieved. Have a bloop single over the same period of time. And then you might have gotten into an interest in gray area because it gets too. There's there's there's the gut feel and on into October he impetus to ride the hot hand. It exposed through shifting around a little bit but that's it does take some extraordinary circumstances. -- we get -- virtues of the lineup. There is say certain. Inevitability field to the Red Sox isn't there. I I don't I I. I struggle with committing to that notion simply because. Where it went to their become the sense of inevitability. There's there's there's. Is that this striking. Thing that is -- in the accident and the probability. And any kind of fair expectation even last night. You had he had -- French and Larry Lucchino and you know to say it to say that any of them. At that number of course the throw and would've been able to predict that they would end up that this specific point. That would have been really hard to I really do that again you have a guy like Jonny Gomes. Saying that -- saying they're well. You know that was the perspective from everyone except for the people who occupied the -- extra outs in the Red Sox don't work would have been really to stop that they hadn't done this. I -- exposed for the most important thing it's not whether or not you're I think it was a sense of inevitability to it. That instead that the Red Sox truly believe that there is a sense. Of inevitability to what they do into the way in which -- are approaching post season. What they're capable of accomplishing and how they're capable of accomplishing it. And you know there's something very very powerful about that kind of belief system. -- -- before we let Chico you wrote a more remarkable piece on WEEI dot com about. The Red Sox running game in their there ability to run the bases not just steal bases although they do that very well. As well but just the the running game that the Red Sox have implemented this year they are the best base running team in baseball right now. Well I I would certainly think so without having seen many of the National League teams -- diet greatly but and perhaps more importantly than that. There were held a lot better running scheme did work a tiger in -- well that wasn't too hard a loss it. If you look into Hartford country you know you could see on that on -- game. Basically every game that the Red Sox won and you could see. Okay front and ended up ended up kind of how how drastic contrast -- to a point where it was really a decisive aspect of the game. Often overlooked that may well have been the pivot point in -- in the post here and you look at the fact that Brian Butterfield had he wears it well. Should not only holt will Mel Brooks at third base. In game two of the America the American championships here but to tell during a pitching change hey if there's a single in the outfield. There with a chance I'm going to all of you at third base because I went deeper queued up. With the bases loaded and I'm not taking that chance. He compared that Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers third base coach Tom brought into game five and -- being a little bit indecisive awaiting him initially. And been turned them on the great results and outs. And you know that there's more to -- than those 23 base coaching decision. The Red Sox had made had Adam intended. Goal of creating a great base running team. Starting in spring training and appreciate the value of being incredibly aggressive but incredibly intelligent about doing it. Not wasting out -- the the same time. Recognizing the importance of those MVP in. You just heard from the clubhouse last night even after a search firms. Yeah idea that you know Mike Napoli is willingness to be able to get a great break on all that they escorted away from catcher ought to do in game five. Just a little bit in the belliard scored from third base and looking what won them game five and ultimately kind of you know perhaps swung the series this from a guy who has played our our guys that. And hit a ball 460 feet whose primary responsibility is just to match so. It's kind of a story about about something that is important it's not just about itself but instead. The way in which the Red Sox created this culture. Being an aggressive base running team. Something that was led by the players as much who was by the coaches in the front office but that was -- bought a collaboration. Between all those different groups. I I think was truly remarkable and in the end in despair you Barry White hot spotlight. And that makes you -- different -- interest. Alex we always appreciate the information and spending the time with a -- some short rest done but mean I don't think you're gonna get much rest over the next couple of weeks either thank you very much taken the time. Take care Alex about that is not Alex beer WEEI dot com catching us up on the Red Sox win in the ALCS last night and previewing the World Series coming up this week. We will swing back to football after the break at the top of the hour in fact specifically will look at the Patriots offense. And which we think is gonna have Rob Gronkowski back. As one of the weapons taking on the Jets defense will get to that when we come back to NFL Sunday presented by the plants the insurance. That the Penske they shop so you say visit the Penske dot com today.