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.

Chris Sale
"He's unbelievable. The season he's having is beyond amazing. It hasn't been done, what's he's been doing, since 1999. To get 300 Ks and how easy he's up that list ... I don't even think he's gone less than five innings all year. He's the horse of the team; he's carrying them. He's not the guy you want to be facing heading into Game 7 with one game left."
-- AL East infielder

"I've had one at-bat off Sale. He's another guy that seems like he's releasing the baseball right in front of your face. Again, he's another guy that forces you to get the feeling like you have to start just a tad earlier than you would on most guys. Nothing changes, the approach is always consistent, but he's got 300 strikeouts for a reason. He's pretty nasty. He can throw any pitch in any count, and that's something. That's a pretty special thing to say about a guy that throws 98 mph."
-- AL East catcher

Sale's road to 300 K's

"Disgusting. Just disgusting. The elite of the elite right now. The one thing I'll say about him, you know he's coming after you. He's going to throw strikes. As a hitter, that's what I like. I'm going up there and I'm trying to take my best swing against his best stuff. He's not going to pitch around you. He's not scared of anyone. It's just a matter of trying to hit a 90- to 98-mph fastball. His pitchability is something that separates him from earlier in his career. He's really learned how to pitch and mix speeds with his fastball. Obviously he throws a changeup and the slider is the pitch you don't want to have to hit."
-- AL East outfielder

David Price
"I haven't seen him much this year. But he's going to come after you, he's going to pound you in and away if he has command of all his pitches. He's not going to give in, he's going to come after you."
-- AL East infielder

"He's one guy where you know he's going to come in on you and he's not going to give up. So there's a lot of times where your approach might be to pull off of him, and then all of a sudden he'll neutralize you with a back-door cutter that seems like it's seven feet outside but it's right down the middle. He knows what he's doing. It's just electric."
-- AL East catcher

Craig Kimbrel
"He's a typical closer. He's not scared; [he won't] shy away from getting hit. If he gets hit, he gets hit. If he doesn't, he's going to come after you with his best stuff. Good luck when he's on."
-- AL East infielder

"Oh, man. You got to get it ready to hit the fastball. His slider is wipe-out. He's one of those guys who has that ball that appears to rise, and I've had no success off him. He's definitely one of those guys when you go into Boston you're hoping you're not in a position where you have to face him."
-- AL East outfielder

Kimbrel whiffs Longoria, side

"You have to make him throw strikes. He has really good stuff, obviously. If he's throwing strikes he's going to be tough, but he can also get into a lot of trouble when he starts giving out free passes."
-- AL East infielder

Drew Pomeranz
"Kind of came out of nowhere. He's almost as tough as Sale, though his pure stuff isn't as good. When he locates that fastball well, he can really make it a tough at-bat."
-- AL East infielder

Mookie Betts
"Really good hitter. Really good in. If you execute your fastball down and away and try to expand on that and run him off the plate, that's probably your best chance at getting him."
-- AL East pitcher

"He just battles. He's a tough out. He's never beat. Even with two strikes, he's still battling. Fortunately I've gotten him out the fair share of times, just staying fastballs away. Backing him off the plate, too, showing him in. Not even for strikes, just showing him in for balls."
-- AL East setup man

Must C: Betts' monster night

"Mookie can beat you in so many different ways. He can drop a bunt down, slap a hit, hit one into the gap or hit a homer, and then when he gets on base he's a headache, too. I feel like he's a big out in their lineup and you want to keep him off base any way you can because he's only going to mess with your head and cause issues."
-- AL starting pitcher

Jackie Bradley Jr.
"Little different guy this year than last year. Fastball has to be in. I think crowding him in with really hard stuff, stuff running in and off the plate is good. And try to get him to chase below."
-- AL East pitcher

"Another great hitter. He's dangerous. I got him out last time on a fastball in that was actually supposed to be a fastball away but I kind of pulled it. It went in on him and kind of jammed, so I guess that's how you get him out."
-- AL East setup man

"Jackie seems like he keeps getting better and better. He really has good discipline at the plate and has a good approach."
-- AL starting pitcher

Bradley Jr.'s bases-loaded walk

Andrew Benintendi
"What I'm seeing is kind of like Betts. Most lefties like the ball down and in, they really can do damage on that. Stay away from that with him. I think you can get him up and in, a couple soft changeups to run at."
-- AL East pitcher

"He's a tough out. In fact, I don't even know if I've gotten him out. I think I've walked him. I think he's hit a double off me. Two doubles, actually. I think pounding him inside, four-seams in. I try to cut him in a little bit and elevate the four-seam, too"
-- AL East setup man