A 32-pitch, simulated game went well for Clay Buchholz this afternoon and he’s scheduled to throw another Thursday or Friday as the righthander continues to recover from the stress fracture in his lower back that’s sidelined him since June.
“He actually looked pretty good,” Francona said. “We’ll obviously see how he bounces back and see when and where we go with the next step.”
Buchholz said he wants to pitch in the postseason, but that’s still uncertain. He could see action before the season ends, he said, but “that’s the team’s call.”
“It’s been tough watching the guys go out there,” he said. “Even when we’re playing good, I want to go out there. It’s tough right now. Like I said, I’m trying to get to the point where I can come back and help this team win.”
*Carl Crawford is back in the lineup hitting sixth after sitting out yesterday’s doubleheader with a stiff neck. Francona said, “He’s good enough to pay. He’s sore, but he can move. Yesterday, he couldn’t move.”
*Dan Wheeler, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 7 because of forearm stiffness, is starting to throw again and Francona hopes to have him back soon.
*Adrian Gonzalez’s calf injury is more a matter of managing pain, Francona said, half-joking that “speed’s not a big part of his game.” He said the calf doesn’t bother Gonzalez when he swings.
*Setting up the rotation over the next few days, Francona said the order would be: Bedard, Beckett, Lester, Wakefield, then Bedard or Lackey.
*Francona didn’t acknowledge Curt Schilling’s comments on WEEI that the Sox wouldn’t make the postseason.