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One More Win: The Red Sox Need to Stay Hot

With the series on the line for the Houston Astros, the Red Sox need to put a nail in the coffin early.

MLB: ALCS-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Game Four was a thriller and luckily the Red Sox held on to win the game to take a three to one series lead. Jackie Bradley Jr hit another home run in game four to help life the Red Sox to victory. But what’s Game Five going to look like? With David Price on the mound, the Red Sox may have to bring this series back to Fenway after all.

David Price gets the call to the mound against Astros’ ace, Justin Verlander. With Verlander on the mound, it feels like Price will need to pitch a nearly perfect game for the Red Sox to clinch a spot in the World Series tonight. The Astros will be playing their hearts out in an elimination scenario, will the Red Sox do the same after draining themselves for a win on Wednesday?

Hopefully Rafael Devers will start Game Five, as he has proudced for the Sox in key situations and is the better option overall than Eduardo Nunez. We should also see the utility man, Brock Holt start at second base for the Red Sox.

With the Red Sox offense igniting 23 runs since their game one loss, the Sox offense will look to keep rolling tonight against a difficult opponent in Verlander. Will they be able to get any runs off of Verlander?

The Red Sox only recorded two runs in the first game of the series in which Verlander pitched. The Astros righty, and one of the best big-game pitchers in recent memory. effectively shut down the Red Sox offense, hopefully his nerves will get to him tonight so the Sox can score some runs early, but that’s probably wishful thinking.

Minute Maid Park will be the loudest it’s been all series long, with a controversial call made last night by Joe West, Astros fans are riled up.

What are some simple keys to tonight’s game? Well, the Red Sox batters need to drive up Verlander’s pitch count. If they effectively drive up his pitch count and get baserunners on him, then he’ll be pulled from the game earlier than the Astros will want him to be.

Whoever plays third base tonight, whether it be Devers or Nunez, NEEDS to be effective and clean defensively. Both Devers and Nunez have had some questionable, and frankly horrible plays at third base. Whoever gets the start needs to effectively snag balls for easy outs at first. In my opinion, I’d like to see Devers play Game Five because he is a stronger batter than Eduardo Nunez, with the defense being close at worst.

The outfielders have been spectacular all series long and they need to continue doing what they’re doing out there. Jackie Bradley has been a nice surprise at the plate, hitting a grand-slam and a home run in back-to-back games, hopefully he keeps up his hot streak.

The bullpen needs to pitch effectively tonight, whether they play Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, or even Rick Porcello, the bullpen could possibly be relied on heavily in this game and they need to pitch well.

I’d like to see J.D. Martinez contribute more offensively, and while he did have two hits, two runs, an RBI and a walk on Wednesday we’re still waiting for another JD dinger! He has been one of the Red Sox best players all season long, and tonight would be a good spot to get back to that.

Game Five starts at 8:09 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.