→ Jonah Keri on the Red Sox’s Hitting Approach so far in the ALCS

Detroit pitchers nearly threw a combined no-hitter in Game 1, and Max Scherzer had a no-no bid going for a while in Game 2, too. Anibal Sanchez struck out 12 batters in his six no-hit innings Saturday, while Scherzer fanned 13 more in seven innings on Sunday, thus becoming the first pair of starting pitchers to strike out 12 batters or more in consecutive games in major league playoff history.

The Red Sox clearly recognized how devastating the sliders thrown by Sanchez and Scherzer were and even tweaked their lineup to try to fight against that pitch. But like so many Boston teams of recent vintage, this year’s Sox lineup is stuffed with grinders, patient hitters who like to work deep counts and either get a pitch to drive or take a walk. Sanchez and Scherzer showed how dangerous they can be when they get two strikes on a hitter, and Justin Verlander’s history suggests he might do the same in Game 3. Attacking pitches earlier in the count might be the way to go against this strikeout-crazy Tigers rotation.

Verlander is obviously going to be a tough test, but I have a feeling that the off-day is going to allow the Sox to adjust their approach at the plate. I’m not sure Keri’s approach of attacking pitches earlier is the right approach to try, but I think some adjustments have to be made.