The Red Sox announced their rotation for the American League Division Series. There were no surprises.
Game 1 on Friday: LHP Jon Lester
Game 2 on Saturday: RHP John Lackey
Game 3 on Monday: RHP Clay Buchholz
Game 4 on Tuesday (if necessary): RHP Jake Peavy
“We’re deep. We’re talented,” Farrell said. “Guys have been, I think, very consistent for the better part of the entire season. Each guy that takes the mound we’re very confident will put together a solid game.”
Lester (15-8, 3.75 earned run average) earned the Game 1 start by going 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 13 starts following the All-Star break. The lefthander, who will speak to the media on Thursday, is 2-3 with a 2.57 ERA in eight postseason appearances.
“He’s been outstanding in the second half, and the last eight starts that he’s put together for us he’s been very strong, and he’ll lead the way for us from a starting standpoint,” Farrell said.
“When you look at the year overall, there was probably about a six- or seven-start period where he was a little bit less than [his career standard]. Other than that, he had a very strong and productive year for us, and we’re hoping that continues through October.”
Lackey (10-13, 3.52) was selected for Game 2 based on its location. He is 6-3, 2.47 at Fenway Park and 4-10, 4.48 on the road.
“His home-road splits are pretty clear, and he feels comfortable and confident pitching here at Fenway,” said Farrell.
Buchholz (12-1, 1.74) had to earn a spot in the rotation after spending three months on the disabled list recovering from a shoulder injury. He was 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA over four starts (and 24 innings) in September. Farrell said Buchholz would enter Game 3 without any restrictions.
Peavy was 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA in 10 starts after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox. He has not appeared in a postseason game since 2006.
• The team announced that 3,900 fan attended the intersquad game.
• The Sox have until Thursday to submit their roster to MLB. Farrell said the team would carry 11 pitchers, an indication that Felix Doubront or Matt Thornton would make the team at the expense of a backup outfielder, likely Jackie Bradley Jr.
“We’re heavy in outfielders. I will tell you that’s where a lot of the decision-making centered around, that extra player,” Farrell said.
Farrell also likes the idea of an extra lefthander giving him the opportunity to match up against hitters in the sixth or seventh inning instead of waiting until later in the game. An extra pitcher also guards against long extra-inning games or weather delays.
“To me, protecting the downside of something unforeseen happening on the mound, pitching-wise, I wanted to shore up that,” Farrell said.
That Doubront pitched an inning in the intrasquad game could indicate he is the choice over Thornton.