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October 12, 2013

Crunch Time

Big Game Alert

The second half of the regular season begins this afternoon for the Manchester Essex football team, and its postseason aspirations hinge on its final three games.

Today the 2-2 Hornets will travel to 1-3 Hamilton-Wenham (1 p.m.) in an important Cape Ann League Small clash. On paper the two teams appear to be evenly matched and both have a lot to play for as a loss will give each team a steep uphill climb towards the playoffs.

The Generals like to throw the football with quarterback Jack Clay while the Hornets have found success in the run game this fall with senior co-captains Chris Dumont and Nate Riehl.

Pitching Probables

The American League Championship Series begins tonight in Boston where the Red Sox will take on the Detroit Tigers. Here’s a look at the pitching probables for the first four games of the series.

Tonight Jon Lester will square off against Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers.

In game two on Sunday at Fenway Park (8 p.m.) the Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the mound against Max Scherzer of the Tigers in one of the marquee pitching matchups of the series. Buchholz pitched Game 3 of the ALDS in Tampa Bay but moves up to Game 2 to counteract Scherzer, who finished the regular season with a record of 21-3.

On Tuesday the series shifts to Detroit’s Comerica Park (4 p.m.) where John Lacker of the Red Sox will face Tigers ace Justin Verlander. I agree with Red Sox manager John Farrell’s move to bump Lackey back to Game 3. Sure he has better numbers at home, but Comerica is a spacious ball park, which could be a perfect fit for a fly ball pitcher like Lackey.

In Game 4 at Comerica Park on Wednesday (8 p.m.) the Red Sox will send Jake Peavy to the hill against Doug Fister.

Not cleared

Two days ago it appeared that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would be making his season debut on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Now it’s not looking so good.

According to multiple media reports the All Pro tight end has yet to be cleared to play as his surgically repaired forearm is still ailing. He is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru

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