Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement threw a side session today at US Cellular Field with the thought that he could possibly be available in the bullpen for Friday’s Game 3 at Fenway Park, Terry Francona said in his pregame briefing with the media this afternoon.
“We’re trying to give our ballclub every option to be successful,” Francona said.
The Boston manager said that Clement has a bruise on his thigh, after getting hit on the leg in yesterday’s 14-2 loss, one that will “get worse before it gets better” and a contusion on his wrist that shouldn’t affect his delivery too much.
“If he can’t do it, we won’t do it,” Francona said. “But I think because of the kind of guy he is, he’ll go for it.”
Clement is currently slated to start Sunday’s Game 5, if so necessary. But when Francona was asked if this move means a different pitcher might get the call, he said it was too early to tell.
— Francona sighed when a reporter asked if his club would rely on its experience of being down 3-0 to the Yankees in last year’s ALCS as a diving board going into Game 2.
“I can rely heavily on being asked that question 9,000 times,” he said.
David Ortiz, who also met with the media prior to game time, was a bit more forthcoming.
“We’ve been in worse situations and we have come out with the win,” he said. “You’ve got to win three games to kick us out.”
— Ortiz reminisced about a conversation he had with tonight’s Chicago starter, Mark Buehrle, at the All-Star Game this past summer, discussing the array of pitches in the lefty’s arsenal.
“Buehrle is a good pitcher,” Ortiz said. “He looks to challenge hitters. He’s one guy who won’t mess around. He brings what he has.”
Ortiz also compared Friday’s Game 3 starter for the White Sox, Freddy Garcia, to Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina, in that they are both guys to be patient with at the plate.
— Asked how his ballclub’s attitude was a day after suffering the most lopsided loss in club postseason history, Francona had two words: “Not tense.”
— John Olerud will start at first tonight instead of Kevin Millar because of his superior defense, Francona said.
“Olerud is so good at defense, and the way the White Sox play the game, that is a big part of the decision,” he said.
Francona said there were other reasons for the call, but that he would not elaborate on them for the sake of competitive balance.
— So, what did the Red Sox do with their night on the town last evening? Don’t ask Francona. He sure doesn’t have a clue.
“I was swimming,” he said. “Pretty exciting, huh? Depends on how you think I look in a Speedo.”