Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz remains on track to start Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday despite tightness in his shoulder that has required treatment over the last few days.
Buchholz started Game 3 of the Division Series against Tampa Bay and Games 2 and 6 of the American League Championship Series against Detroit. But the injury will bump him back and Jake Peavy will start Game 3 on Saturday in St. Louis.
“Felt like the overriding thing was an additional day of rest for him and he’s going to go Sunday,” manager John Farrell said.
The Red Sox had Felix Doubront throw a three-inning simulated game on Tuesday. But there are no concrete plans about who could start Game 4 if Buchholz is scratched.
“It depends on who’s used the next two [games],” Farrell said before Game 2 on Thursday. “We know that we have multiple guys [in the bullpen] who can go multiple innings. [Ryan] Dempster being one, Doubront another. If we have to piece it together, we’ll adjust accordingly. To say that we’re going to have a guy warming alongside Clay, we’re not at that point.”
Doubront is preparing himself to start if needed.
“If they need me I could go five or six innings,” the lefthander said. “I’ll be ready. I want the chance to pitch.”
If the Red Sox want to remove Buchholz from the roster because of the injury, Major League Baseball would have to approve.
“Typically when a player is injured, it’s because they’ve been hurt inside that series,” Farrell said. “If it’s not something that’s currently taking place, there’s got to be some documentation along the way that there’s something going on here. It’s even subjective to that point to how deep they examine the case. Would they allow a change? We don’t know that.”
If the Red Sox did attempt a roster move, lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton is the only non-roster pitcher who has continued throwing.
Matter of substance
In a since-deleted message on Twitter, Cardinals minor league pitcher Tyler Melling questioned whether Red Sox Game 1 starter Jon Lester was hiding Vaseline in his glove to use on the ball.
But Lester said Thursday that the substance is rosin, which is legal.
Melling also posted an image of what looked like a green blob in Lester’s glove. A choppy video also emerged.
“It looks bad,” Lester said. “But I can honestly tell you that all I use is rosin. . . . I sweat a lot. My hat’s got sweat dripping off the brim sometimes. I’ve put rosin on my hat before to try to stop it. You do a lot of different things to try to contain it.
“Even on a cold night like last night, I’m still sweating. You’ve got to do certain things to get a grip on the ball and not let it slip. Rosin is one of those things that seemed to help me.”
Lester, who threw 7⅔ scoreless innings in Game 1, patiently answered questions about the situation. That Melling, a 25-year-old Single A pitcher, questioned his integrity seemed to amuse Lester more than anything.
“I guess it’s a compliment,” Lester said. “I know what I do day in and day out to prepare to pitch for big league games. I know not once I’ve cheated, won’t cheat, and I’ll continue to hold that as part of who I am.”
Farrell suggested the image Melling posted was manipulated electronically.
“I did see the picture,” said Farrell. “Someone sent me the picture. How it’s lime green, I don’t know. Maybe somebody has the ability to Photoshop. It seems pretty unique.”
Lester said the material “looked like a big booger” on his glove.
MLB issued a statement saying no conclusions could be drawn.
“There were no complaints from the Cardinals, and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game,” the statement read.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it was a “non-issue.”
Farrell said it’s a matter of Lester getting a grip on the ball.
“If you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and needs rosin, like every other pitcher,” Farrell said. “He chooses to keep it in his glove. You’ll see [John] Lackey tonight, he keeps it on his arm.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny distanced the team from Melling’s accusations.
“This was not instigated by us,” he said. “The way that we approach this is we just play the game. We don’t deny that some things have been acknowledged and if that’s what [Lester] claims, then that’s what it is. That’s all there is to it and right now it’s pretty much a dead issue.”
Stuck in slump
Shortstop Stephen Drew was 0 for 3 and is now 4 for 42 (.095) in the postseason with one hit in his last 35 at-bats.
“It’s not discouraging because I know I can come out of it,” Drew said. “I have to be better than that.”
Farrell also stayed with Jonny Gomes against a righthander and wasn’t rewarded, as the left fielder was 0 for 4. Gomes has started the last four games and is 1 for 15.
Farrell has indicated that Daniel Nava would start Game 3 in St. Louis.
Bud Selig presented retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award before the game. The legendary closer also was introduced to the crowd and received warm applause.
Rivera retired with a record 625 saves and played for five World Series champions.
Rivera said this feels like a usual offseason for him and retirement won’t set in until spring training starts.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I know that I’ll be busy, and it’s something that’s going to happen. So since I’m retired, I’m just going to enjoy it.”
The Red Sox will lose the DH in St. Louis. But there are no plans to have Mike Napoli catch or play any other position. Either Napoli or David Ortiz will be out of the starting lineup, Farrell said. Indications are Ortiz will play first base in at least two games . . . Farrell didn’t expect the umpires to change the call in the first inning on Wednesday when Pete Kozma dropped the ball at second base on the force. “Honestly I was a little surprised that it was changed,” he said. “Typically you don’t see that happen.” Farrell sprinted out of the dugout to argue when the call was made. “I almost thought about hook sliding,” he said . . . When St. Louis took a 1-0 lead in the fourth lead, it was their first lead in six Series games against the Red Sox dating to 2004 . . . The loss was only the second in seven postseason home games for the Sox this year . . . James Taylor performed the national anthem before the game and then “America The Beautiful” during the seventh-inning stretch . . . A group of players from the 2004 Red Sox — Keith Foulke, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millar, Trot Nixon, Mike Timlin, and Jason Varitek — threw out first pitches. Ortiz delivered the balls to the mound.