Red Sox workout day notes: Clay Buchholz to start, John Farrell defends Stephen Drew
|10.25.13 at 6:41 pm ET|
ST. LOUIS — Red Sox manager John Farrell, prior to his team’s workout on Friday’s World Series off-day, offered a number of updates regarding how he plans to use his roster in Games 3 and 4 of the World Series. Among them:
— Farrell said that Clay Buchholz will start Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday.
“He went through a throwing program today. Went back to about a hundred feet with some increased intensity along the way, and he’s starting Sunday,” said Farrell.
— Despite Stephen Drew‘s offensive struggles — which rank among the most severe ever in a single postseason — Farrell certainly didn’t sound like he had any plans to sit him anytime soon, based on the shortstop’s tremendous defense throughout the postseason in a low run-scoring environment.
“[Drew’s defense has] been critical,” Farrell said. “While he has had his struggles, they’re well documented, we live it with him. But he has played such a strong defensive position at shortstop. Last night there’s probably three or four plays that he makes, that might otherwise build into a potential inning for the Cardinals. We can go back to Game 6 in inning seven where he saves a run with two outs, and throws out [Tigers slugger Miguel] Cabrera, that we come back and [Shane] Victorino hits a grand slam to give us the lead.
“He’s such a steadying force for us on defense up the middle and on the infield in general,” added Farrell. “In games that we anticipate being played, defense is a premium. The first two games are prime examples. You give the opponent an extra out, and you see what happens. It’s happened on both sides, whether it’s [Craig] Breslow‘s throw last night or in Game 1, we’ve been able to capitalize on some defensive inconsistencies on the other side. So his defense up the middle is a premium.”
— As expected, David Ortiz will start at first base in Game 3. Farrell said the team had yet to decide whether to start Ortiz or Mike Napoli at first base in Games 4 and 5, a conundrum engendered by the absence of the DH.
“How we go forward through the remaining three games, we’ll take a look at that day to day,” said Farrell. “But given the right’handed matchups (the Cardinals will feature right-handers Lance Lynn in Game 4 and Adam Wainwright in Game 5), and take away the matchups, David has got a long career that we all lean on and the success that he’s having on this postseason to take advantage of.”
— The Sox will have Daniel Nava starting in left field in Game 3 of the World Series, his first start since Game 4 of the ALCS against the Tigers. The Sox are 7-1 with Jonny Gomes in the lineup this postseason, with the first loss having come in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday.
— Farrell suggested that the Sox will be at something of a disadvantage in the batter/pitcher matchups when they face Joe Kelly on Saturday, given their lack of experience with the St. Louis Game 3 starter.
“The one thing that [Cardinals Game 2 starter Michael Wacha] had last night going in his favor, in addition to being a very talented young guy, is familiarity. This will be the first time that we’ll face Kelly. We’ve got a little bit of a read on him through our advance scouting reports, but still firsthand experience in the batter’s box goes a long way,” said Farrell. “Again, I think the pitcher knowing what he’s going to throw to what location when not ever having seen that guy presents a unique challenge and that will be there tomorrow.”
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