The game the day — heck even the series — was supposed to belong to Justin Verlander.
John Lackey didn't care. Neither did Mike Napoli. And the two of them were at the forefront of the Red Sox' 1-0 victory in Game 3 of the ALCS at Comerica Park. The Sox now lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.
Verlander is more than merely the Detroit Tigers' ace. He's the best big-game pitcher in baseball. Last week when the Tigers needed a victory to extend their season all he did was throw 111 pitches deliver eight shutout innings and beat the Oakland A's in Game 5 of the Division Series. Verlander hadn't given up a run in almost a month — Sept. 18 to be precise — looking every bit as electric as at any point in his AL MVP season of 2011.
Nevertheless through six innings at Comerica Park Lackey out-Verlandered Verlander. Napoli who had been 0-for-6 with six strikeouts in the ALCS snapped a scoreless stalemate by swatting Verlander's 100th pitch -- a 96-mph fastball no les...