With both Jon Lester and Josh Beckett healthy after recent scares — a ball to the knee for Lester, cortisone shots in the back for Beckett — manager Terry Francona announced the Red Sox’ postseason pitching rotation after today’s game.
Lester will throw in Game 1 against the Angels, which is expected to take place on Thursday, though the date will not be finalized until after the Twins-Tigers playoff game on Tuesday. Beckett will get Game 2 on Friday against the Angels, and Clay Buchholz will get Game 3. Francona did not announce a starter for a potential Game 4 yet.
“What it really came down to is the fact that when you look at how our rotation was set up — and Beckett knows we feel this way — because for us to get where we want to go we’re going to have to lean on both of them,” Francona said. “To flip-flop them around would have one guy on normal rest, another guy on [seven days rest]. That doesn’t make sense to any of us, including Beckett and Lester.
“As we go forward, again we don’t know when we’re playing, but we think Lester is situated where he can come back on short rest and that would have, say, Beckett if there’s a Game 5 on regular rest. There’s a lot of options that are open to us that we’re interested in exploring.”
Assuming the Yankees take Series A (Wednesday/Friday), the Red Sox will open the postseason at 9:37 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday. They will play on Friday again at 9:37 p.m. MLB has not released game times beyond the games on Saturday.