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ALCS Game 5 Thread: Red Sox @ Tigers; series tied 2-2

On Thursday, you can either watch a crappy football game or Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, tied at two games apiece between the Tigers and Red Sox. Is it really a choice? The game airs at 8 on Fox.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On the whole, the Tigers starting rotation has been as great as its bullpen and offense have been bad. That makes for an unfortunate occurrence for the legions of right-thinking anti-Red Sox fans. They "should" have had a four-game sweep by now, and instead we go into the fifth game knotted at two apiece, with a rematch of the starters from the 1-0 Game 1, Anibal Sanchez and Jon Lester.

Of the four games in the series, two have been settled by a score of 1-0. Tigers pitchers have struck out like one hojillion dudes.

Having spent much of his career toiling on the Marlins, Sanchez has not seen a lot of many Red Sox. Shane Victorino has faced him the most, with a .584 OPS in 50 plate appearances. David Ortiz has homered twice off Sanchez, but went 0-3 in Game 1 of this series. He has only seen Sanchez six times total.

Lester has much more of a track record against Tigers hitters. Surprisingly, it's not a good one. A smattering: Torii Hunter with a 1.004 OPS (35 PA), Jhonny Peralta with a 1.062 (35 PA), Miguel Cabrera with a 1.392 (27 PA), and Victor Martinez with a 1.068 (19 PA). Lester only gave up one run in 6.1 innings in Game 1, but that wasn't enough. If these Tigers hitters get closer to their track record against him, the Red Sox will have to hope their offense does better than nearly being no-hit by Sanchez and company on Thursday night.

Torii Hunter (R) - RF Jacoby Ellsbury (L) - CF
Miguel Cabrera (R) - 3B Shane Victorino (S) - RF
Prince Fielder (L) - 1B Dustin Pedroia (R) - 2B
Victor Martinez (S) - DH David Ortiz (L) - DH
Jhonny Peralta (R) - LF Mike Napoli (R) - 1B
Alex Avila (L) - C Jonny Gomes (R) - LF
Omar Infante (R) - 2B Stephen Drew (L) - SS
Austin Jackson (R) - CF Xander Bogaerts (R) - 3B
Jose Iglesias (R) - SS David Ross (R) - C