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David Ortiz: Detroit starters ‘taking things to another level’

10.17.13 at 3:06 am ET
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DETROIT ‘€“ David Ortiz wasn’€™t going to sugarcoat it.

‘€œThis is the best of all of them,’€ the Red Sox designated hitter said after his team’€™s 7-3 loss to the Tigers in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

‘€œThem’€ were the Detroit starting pitchers, who, after Doug Fister‘€™s performance Wednesday night (6 IP, 0 R, 7 K, BB), have allowed three runs over 27 innings. They have struck out 42, walked just 10 and surrendered 14 hits.

Through one time through their rotation, the group of Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Fister have been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Just ask Ortiz.

‘€œThe starting pitching has been outstanding,’€ said Ortiz, who is just 1-for-15 in the series. ‘€œThat guy [Fister] that started the game tonight, that was impressive. He was painting everything. His breaking ball was better than what I have ever seen. He was spotting his changeup. He was throwing the pitch he wanted in whatever count. There isn’t any better than that.

‘€œThis is playoffs. Everybody brings their best. The way they’ve been pitching is a whole totally different game. They’re taking things to another level, which is what you’re supposed to do in the playoffs. It’s not like you have too much room in the playoffs. You definitely have to try and keep the score close.’€

So what is it, the scouting reports?

‘€œScouting has something to do with it, but scouting reports don’t pitch out there,’€ Ortiz said. ‘€œYou listen to the scouting reports and then you have to execute, and they’re executing perfectly fine.

‘€œThey’re pitching well. That’s all I can tell you. They’re throwing the ball where they want to, in the situation they want to and not making mistakes.’€

But now comes the next time through the rotation.

With the Red Sox getting their second shot at Sanchez ‘€“ who pitched six hitless innings in Game 1 ‘€“ Ortiz and Co. do carry some optimism heading into their latest shot at proving this rotation is mortal.

‘€œJust because I’m saying they’re good doesn’t mean it’s over,’€ the DH said. ‘€œWe’re going to come back and play tomorrow. I give credit to whoever deserves it. They deserve credit. They’ve been pitching their [butts] off. There’s nothing to do but come back and compete tomorrow.’€

Finally, Ortiz added, ‘€œEven Steven right now. Nobody’s out. We have two more (wins) to go and we’ll try to win it.’€

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