If the Red Sox force a Game 4, the Red Sox want Jon Lester, not Daisuke Matsuzaka, to start. Lester threw 100 pitches last night in his Game 1 loss, not so taxing that he would not be able to come back on three days rest. Starting Lester in Game 4 would allow the Red Sox to pitch Josh Beckett, tonight's starter, in a potential Game 5.
“There’s a decent chance," manager Terry Francona said. "He threw 100 pitches. I think we’d like to bring him back. I’m getting ahead of myself, but then we’d want Beckett to pitch Game 5. That’s what we’re hoping to do. But, try to get through tonight, make sure Lester’s OK. If not, we’ll throw Daisuke. That was kind of what we were thinking all along.”
In his career, Lester has started on three days rest once. He allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks, surrendering two home runs, in a no-decision.*
Matsuzaka, like last night, will be available in the bullpen tonight.
*This is an edit. I originally wrote he had never pitched on three days rest, a mistake made by looking at the wrong column of a stat sheet. My apologies.