October Confidential: Red Sox

Rival players offer inside look at facing AL East champions

October Confidential: Red Sox

How do you beat the Red Sox? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the American League East champions.

David Price
"Tremendous competitor. Has notoriously not done well in the playoffs. But he's a guy with power stuff, he can locate the ball, he's going to give them a chance to win that game, especially with that offense. He's a guy that, especially being in Boston, he knows about it now, that his postseason struggles are going to be in the spotlight, and he'll definitely be looking to give that little extra mile to kind of quiet those critics. He's going to be tough to beat."
-- AL catcher

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 CLE 5, BOS 4 video
Gm 2 Oct. 7 CLE 6, BOS 0 video
Gm 3 Oct. 10 CLE 4, BOS 3 video

Rick Porcello
"To me, he's their wild card. In Boston, he's been lights-out. Away from Boston, it could be a different story. He's a ground-ball pitcher, so your goal is to get him up and over the middle of the plate. Not that the strike zone should change in the playoffs, but it does a little bit, just because of the national attention it gets. And to me, he's a guy who has to live off the corners of the plate and get you to swing at balls."
-- AL catcher

Craig Kimbrel
"Extreme power at the back end. He's also a 50-50 guy. In certain counts and certain situations, he has a higher tendency of throwing certain pitches. So that's something we definitely key in on, is count-specific pitch types. And you've got to make him throw strikes, because he struggled doing that this year."
-- AL catcher

David Ortiz
"Papi is so good at going the other way if he wants to. He can fillet a ball to left field off the wall. It's a single for him that's an out normally. Especially if there's somebody on base, that's where damage comes from. To me, you can pitch to him, but, if you make a mistake, it will not come back -- a majority of the time, it's going over the fence. But he's so smart, and you have to pitch him differently each at-bat. You can't get him out the same way because he's definitely paying attention and looking for that."
-- AL catcher

Must C: Papi's clutch game

Mookie Betts
"What a player. That guy is special. You've just got to try to bounce him back and forth. You cannot throw two pitches in the same location. You have to continually mix it up, and you have to keep him off his front foot. Because he's such a good bad-ball hitter. I think it's almost better to throw it in the zone and hope he hits it at somebody. That's the kind of year he's having."
-- AL catcher

Dustin Pedroia
"He's a guy that's a singles hitter now, more of a table-setter. But he's going to beat you in a lot of different ways with the bat. He's a good bad-ball hitter, and you have to grind through that at-bat. He's tremendous at fouling pitches off until you make a mistake that he can flip into left field. That wall at Fenway plays perfect for him, too."
-- AL catcher

Xander Bogaerts
"You think you can get in on him, but he covers a lot of the inside of the plate. He's gotten better at it. Bogaerts is a really tough out. He has power, but he'll also take his singles every chance he gets. Just has a knack for barrelling the ball."
-- AL East starting pitcher