Most Valuable Red Sox: ALCS Game 5

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are one win away from the World Series thanks to...

The Red Sox are one win away from the World Series, an unlike nights past, the question of who contributed the most to that win is not quite so clear cut.

Here, as I see it, are the options:

1. Jon Lester

He was not quite at his best last night, there's no doubting that. And since Junichi Tazawa wasn't able to completely bail him out in the sixth, Lester left with an underwhelming performance of 5.1 IP and 2 ER to show for it. But one night after Jake Peavy got shelled, Lester calmed things down and held the Tigers to a modest showing, handing the ball to the bullpen with some work to do, but a lead all-the-same.

2. Mike Napoli

The homer that got the attack started, the one-out double that gave the Red Sox their winning run. Mike Napoli was, for the second time this series, the difference maker at the plate, perhaps even rattling Sanchez with his homer enough to make him more vulnerable to the likes of Xander Bogaerts and David Ross behind him.

3. Koji Uehara

You can't ask much more from your closer than a five-out perfect save. Where Lester and Tazawa let the Tigers chip away, Uehara did not so much as allow a baserunner. And that last splitter in the eighth? How do you even come close to hitting that?

4. David Ross

Quietly one of the best players on the field for the Red Sox. HIghlighted by a night where Alex Avila left with injury, but only after allowing the game-winning run to come in to score, Ross has been a sure hand behind the plate for Jon Lester and the bullpen when he's been asked to play, and he contributed a big double in the second and got the job done on a sacrifice bunt in the ninth where Shane Victorino, sadly, could not. Doing the small things likely won't catch him up to the other three candidates, but it was a night worthy of some recognition.

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