Tito’s take on Beckett, Lester

Back spasms forced Josh Beckett to be scratched from his start tonight against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, prompting Terry Francona to take a cautious approach and go with Michael Bowden, who was called up from Triple A Pawtucket to make his first Major League start of the season and second of his career.

“On the plane last night he tired to get comfortable and didn’t,” Francona said of Beckett during in his pregame chat with reporters. “I think he thought he’d wake up, take a hot shower and go about his business. When that didn’t happen, he called me and John Farrell were in at the time and it wasn’t a real difficult decision to say, `This doesn’t make sense to us.’

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“He kind of agreed, so we’re going to try to use good judgement and let him get worked on and let that thing relax, as opposed to let him pitch through it. He could have, but it didn’t seem like today was the day to do that.”

Francona said the Sox would rely upon Bowden, who won his Major League debut, 8-2, over Mark Buehrle and the White Sox Aug. 30, 2008. “We’ll pitch Michael Bowden, while respecting the fact that he threw a couple of days ago, we’ll get as much out of him as we feel safe and try to piece it together,” Francona said.

Asked if Beckett would likely stick to his next regularly scheduled start, Francona said, “I just don’t know that we have that answer yet . . . It’s just his upper back. It’s been there for a while. We’ve all had it. You want it to go away and the harder you try … we just have to use good judgment. We’ll sit with him and medical staff and figure out the best course of action for him. We’ll adjust to it and try not to let it affect us.”

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Francona did get some good news when Jon Lester appeared no worse for the wear after throwing his regular bullpen session. Lester took a line drive off the knee in his last start against the Yankees and was last scene writhing in pain on the mound.

“He did well — real well,” Francona said. “He had an extended bullpen. He felt real good about himself and John Farrell felt good about it, so he’s moving forward. I’m sure he feels like he’s been hit by a line drive, but he’s OK.”

Francona didn’t seem to believe Lester would miss his next start. “I don’t see that getting interrupted,” he said.

Lester reported that he felt fine after throwing “about 55 pitches” in his side session with Farrell

“Yeah, I felt fine,” he said. “No problems. Didn’t feel anything in the knee. Did a normal long toss and it was right around 55 pitches. So everything was good. I felt good when I woke up, walking around and everything. But there’s always that question in the back of your mind, is it going to bug me when I get back on the mound and it didn’t, so everything’s good.”

Asked how much of a relief it was to see Lester back at work, Francona said, “It’s nice. We’re standing out there on the mound and I don’t know if you were watching it on TV or watching it live, it looked bad, it didn’t sound good and he was out there moaning, so again, two days later, to know that he’s going pitch. He’s already been out in the bullpen throwing good, that’s a heck of a relief. We don’t need to lose him.”

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Mike Lowell had a cortisone injection on his right hip this morning and will likely sit out the next couple of games, Francona said.

“We talked to him back in Kansas City about how to manage his hip,” Francona said. “We both agreed if he got an injection today and sits for a couple of days and comes back and gets some at bats and so that’s what he did.

“We’ll try to treat him as responsible as we can in this next week and see how he feels.”

Francona reported that Nick Green, who has been slowed by a bulging disk, “went out and did some T-work and did some running, a little bit of throwing, and tolerated it pretty well,” he said. “He still fatigues pretty quickly. His hope is to get in a game in a couple of days and we’ll see. The good news is that he’s thinking about getting in a game in a couple of days. That might be a little bit quick for me, but the fact that he thinks he can get in a game means he’s going in the right direction.”

Before the game, the Sox announced that they had selected LHP Dustin Richardson from Triple A Pawtucket to the 40-man roster. To make room, outfielder Chris Carter was designated for assignment.

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Tito’s Take on Beckett, Lester.

Back spams forced Josh Beckett to be scractched from his start tonight against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, prompting Terry Francona to take a cautious approach and go with Michael Bowden, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his first Major League start of the season and second of his career.

“On the plane last night he tired to get comfortable and didn’t,” Francona said of Beckett during in his pregame chat with reporters. “I think he thought he’d wake up, take a hot shower and go about his business. When that didn’t happen, he called me and John Farrell were in at the time and it wasn’t a real difficult decision to say, `This doesn’t make sense to us.’

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“He kind of agreed, so we’re going to try to use good judgement and let him get worked on and let that thing relax, as opposed to let him pitch through it. He could have, but it didn’t seem like today was the day to do that.”

Francona said the Sox would rely upon Bowden, who won his Major League debut, 8-2, over Mark Buehrle and the White Sox Aug. 30, 2008. “We’ll piitch Michael Bowden, while respecting the fact that he threw a couple of days ago, we’ll get as much out of him as we feel safe and try to piece it together,” Francona said.

Asked if Beckett would likely stick to his next regularly scheduled start, Francona said, “I just don’t know that we have that answer yet . . . It’s just his upper back. It’s been there for a while. We’ve all had it. You want it to go away and the harder you try … we just have to use good judgement. We’ll sit with him and medical staff and figure out the best course of action for him. We’ll adjust to it and try not to let it affect us.”

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Francona did get some good news when Jon Lester appeared no worse for the wear after throwing his regular bullpen session. Lester took a line drive off the knee in his last start against the Yankees and was last scene writhing in pain on the mound.

“He did well — real well,” Francona said. “He had an extended bullpen. He felt real good about himself and John Farrell felt good about it, so he’s moving forward. I’m sure he feels like he’s been hit by a line drive, but he’s OK.”

Francona didn’t seem to believe Lester would miss his next start. “I don’t see that getting interrupted,” he said.

Lester reported that he felt fine after throwing “about 55 pitches” in his side session with Farrell

“Yeah, I felt fine,” he said. “No problems. Didn’t feel anything in the knee. Did a normal long toss and it was right around 55 pitches. So everything was good. I felt good when I woke up, walking around and everything. But there’s always that question in the back of your mind, is it going to bug me when I get back on the mound and it didn’t, so everything’s good.”

Asked how much of a relief it was to see Lester back at work, Francona said, “It’s nice. We’re standing out there on the mound and I don’t know if you were watching it on TV or watching it live, it looked bad, it didn’t sound good and he was out there moaning, so again, two days later, to know that he’s going pitch. He’s already been out in the bullpen throwing good, that’s a heck of a relief. We don’t need to lose him.”

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Mike Lowell had a cortisone injection on his right hip this morning and will likely sit out the next couple of games, Francona said.

“We talked to him back in Kansas City about how to manage his hip,” Francona said. “We both agreed if he got an injection today and sits for a couple of days and comes back and gets some at bats and so that’s what he did.

“We’ll try to treat him as responsible as we can in this next week and see how he feels.”

Francona reported that Nick Green, who has been slowed by a bulging disk, “went out and did some T-work and did some running, a little bit of throwing, and tolerated it pretty well,” he said. “He still fatigues pretty quickly. His hope is to get in a game in a couple of days and we’ll see. The good news is that he’s thinking about getting in a game in a couple of days. That might be a little bit quick for me, but the fact that he thinks he can get in a game means he’s going in the right direction.”

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