ST. LOUIS — Red Sox lefthander Felix Doubront was reluctant to pitch out of the bullpen in late September, saying he was better suited to start. But several conversations with manager John Farrell changed his mind. That and knowing that the alternative was not being on the postseason roster at all.
Doubront adapted well. In four postseason appearances, he has allowed one run on three hits over seven innings. He was the winning pitcher in Game 4 on Sunday, allowing one run over 2 2/3 innings despite pitching on consecutive days for the first time since 2011.
"He changed his mind, didn't he?" Farrell said. "Gosh, he's been efficient. He's been throwing a lot of strikes. What stands out in the environment [on Saturday and Sunday] is just the poise and the comfort in which he has attacked the strike zone. It's been something that we desperately needed."
• John Lackey threw only 17 pitches in his inning of relief on Sunday and remains on track to start Game 6 on Wednesday at Fenway Park.
Jake Peavy has allowed 10 earned runs over 12.2 innings in three postseasons. But he remains in line to start a possible Game 7. "Everything points to that right now," Farrell said.
Peavy is available in the bullpen tonight.
• Farrell on Craig Breslow: "A little bit tentative. I wouldn't say it's tentative because of a physical thing. He hasn't really settled in against this lineup. Lack of familiarity, where he's got that against every other American League team that he's faced."
• Clay Buchholz volunteered to pitch in relief in Game 6 if needed. The sore-armed righthander pitched four innings on Sunday, allowing one unearned run.
"He's getting ready for the next possible opportunity. By no means has he shut anything down," Farrell said.
• The Red Sox have made seven errors in the series and allowed three unearned runs. The Cardinals also have been sloppy.
"There's been self-induced errors. There's been outfield grass, the ball jumps up on a guy. There's been some miscues," Farrell said. "You can't point to youth being a reason because it's been spread across the board. You have two teams that are going at it to the maximum abilities. I wish I could tell you it was just like a June game. It's not."