Extra Bases

Rotation change

Tim Wakefield, who threw a side session this afternoon, will start next Wednesday as opposed to next Tuesday, as manager Terry Francona originally decided yesterday. Clay Buchholz will pitch Tuesday, on four days rest, and then the final day of the season. Josh Beckett will pitch Monday and then the following Saturday, the day before the final day of the season.

With that in place, it’s possible to shape the pitching rotation for the remainder of the year. Here’s what makes sense.

Tonight: Clay Buchholz
Friday Sept. 25: Jon Lester
Saturday Sept. 26: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Sunday Sept. 27: Paul Byrd
Monday Sept. 28: Josh Beckett
Tuesday Sept. 29: Clay Buchholz
Wednesday Sept. 30: Tim Wakefield
Thursday Oct. 1: Jon Lester
Friday Oct. 2: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Saturday Oct. 3: Josh Beckett
Sunday Oct. 4: Clay Buchholz

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Game 1 of the ALDS, assuming the Yankees choose the series that begins Wednesday, will be Thursday Oct. 8, and Game 2 will be the following night. Strictly in terms of rest, it would make the most sense to pitch Lester for Game 1 and Beckett for Game 2 — Lester would have six days of rest, and Beckett would have five.

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