This American League Championship Series has been a great one, but it’s taken a toll on the players involved.
With all but one game decided by one run, every move has counted, meaning extreme physical and mental focus has been required from each member of the Red Sox and Tigers.
“This is probably a reason why I don’t have any hair,” Dustin Pedroia told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports after Thursday’s tight 4-3 Red Sox win. “It’s stressful. You’re trying to find a way. You’re grinding.”
Mike Napoli, who clubbed the two home runs that were the deciding margins in Game 3 and 5, has felt it, too.
“It’s been draining,” he said. “I get home, and I pass out. I never do that.”
Even the ever-exuberant Koji Uehara wasn’t ready to reflect on what the Red Sox have done.
“I just felt exhausted,” he said through an interpreter. “I’m too tired to even look back.”
Rosenthal had a few other gems in his postgame notes, including that Napoli — while not the tidiest of men by appearance — is actually a neat freak when it comes to keeping his locker. Third base coach Brian Butterfield noted that Napoli likes to keep his things in order, and he’s also meticulous on the field.
“I tell our young guys, ‘Watch Napoli. Everything he does on the field, he has a purpose,'” Butterfield said.
Game 6 is Saturday at Fenway Park.