Red Sox manager John Farrell named John Lackey as his starter for Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday. But he could not commit to a starter for Game 3.
“On the weekend we’ll have that a little more clear as that gets closer,” he said Tuesday.
Clay Buchholz, who missed three months of the season with a shoulder injury, would normally line up behind Lackey. Farrell denied that Buchholz is having any health issues.
Buchholz was removed from Game 5 of the ALCS last Saturday after only 85 pitches over five-plus innings. He has not looked particularly crisp in his two playoff starts.
“Yeah, everything is OK,” Farrell said. “We fully expect he and Jake [Peavy] to be pitching on the weekend in St. Louis.”
About an hour later, lefthander Felix Doubront took the mound at Fenway Park for a three-inning simulated game with Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington watching.
Doubront was in the bullpen for the Division Series and ALCS. Throwing that many pitches the night before a game was unusual.
Two team sources said that Buchholz remains in the rotation and is expected to pitch in St. Louis on Saturday or Sunday. But the Red Sox acted like a team that was at least a little unsure of the situation.
Lefthander Matt Thornton, who is not on the roster, also threw in the simulated game. The only reason he would throw would be to get ready to be added to the roster. Buchholz also did not attend a mandatory press conference for the players.
The Red Sox have until 10 a.m. on Wednesday to submit their roster.
“No roster changes as of today,” Farrell said. “We’re going to go with the same 25 we finished the last series with, so that hasn’t been adjusted.”
A different lineup
Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the first pitch before Game 1.
Jacoby Miller, the 5-year-old son of US Air Force Captain Garrett Miller, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan, will yell “Play Ball!” before the start of Game 1. The Millers are from Glastonbury, Conn.
Deon Singletary, 14, from the West End House Boys & Girls Club in Allston will deliver the ball to the mound before Jon Lester arrives. He will be joined by Red Sox Hall of Famer Luis Tiant.
There also will be a pregame ceremony recognizing three living Medal of Honor recipients: Salvatore Giunta, Clinton Romesha, and William Swenson.
Retired United States Marine Corps Sgt. Dan Clark will sing “God Bless America” before the bottom of the seventh inning.
Story still resonates
Lester’s 2006 season was cut short when he was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. He also missed part of the 2007 season but came back to start and win Game 4 of the World Series.
Now he’s back in the Series and back on a national stage. His personal story could resonate again.
“I hadn’t really thought of it that way,” he said. “If that story gets out tomorrow and that helps somebody in a hospital room or helps somebody that’s struggling with their treatment or whatever it is, great. That’s kind of what we try to do in our foundation, as well, and spread the word of cancer awareness.
“I mean, it’s a big honor to take that stage with that next to my name. And like I said, hopefully I can help somebody that’s struggling with it a little bit.”
Chief among them
John Hirschbeck will serve as the umpire crew chief for the Series and will be behind the plate for Game 1.
Hirschbeck, who has more than 30 years of major league experience, will lead a crew that includes regular-season crew chiefs Dana DeMuth and Jim Joyce along with Paul Emmel, Bill Miller, and Mark Wegner. All six worked the Division Series round of the postseason. Hirschbeck and DeMuth were crew chiefs.
This is the fourth career World Series for Hirschbeck. It will be the fifth career Series for DeMuth, who will match Gerry Davis and Joe West for most among active umpires.
Joyce is working his third career Series and Miller will be a part of his second. This is the first for Emmel and Wegner.
The crew will continue to wear patches with the initials “WB” in honor of 21-year major league umpire Wally Bell, who passed away Oct. 14.
Shane Victorino said the last few days were tumultuous ones after his winning grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS. He has been deluged with interview requests and spent a little time watching replays of his shot and joyful trip around the bases.
“It was a great moment for me personally and it was something I will cherish. I enjoyed the moment, but we have a big task ahead of us and I have to focus on Game 1 of the World Series,” he said.
“To be able to share that with my son, my family, that’s the kind of thing you live for. It was a great thrill for me but I had to turn the page and get ready for the World Series. It won’t be as special if we don’t win the whole thing.”
Rookie Xander Bogaerts, a 21-year-old native of Aruba, said one of his first World Series memories is watching Manny Ramirez in 2004 against the Cardinals.
“The games were on television but I don’t think I watched all of them,” he said. “But I remember certain players like Manny and David [Ortiz]. Hard to believe I’m playing with David now.”
The Sporting News named Farrell as the American League manager of the year . . . A trio of official scorers will work the first two games of the Series. Mike Shalin, one of the regular Fenway Park scorers, will be joined by Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Gaku Tashiro of Sankei Sports of Japan . . . Red Sox teammates Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa are only the second Japanese teammates on a World Series roster. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima were on the 2007 Red Sox . . . Wednesday will be the 41st World Series game played in Boston. Only New York (191), St. Louis (59), and Chicago (42) have hosted more . . . The Red Sox are 57-29 at Fenway Park this year, counting the postseason (4-1).Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.