With the series tied at one game apiece, the Cardinals go with Joe Kelly on the mound while the Red Sox use the veteran Jake Peavy. This would also be the matchup if the series goes the distance as Lance Lynn and Clay Buchholz are expected to start Game 4 Sunday.
Before getting into Saturday’s matchup, let’s answer a question that has been popping up on our Twitter timeline:
@RedSox_101 If Buchholz can't start Game 4, who does?— Andrew H. Martin (@historianandrew) October 25, 2013
Although all signs point to Buchholz making is one and only start, look for Felix Doubront to get the ball as a fallback.
Doubront pitched a simulated three innings Tuesday at Fenway and threw a bullpen session during Game 2 Thursday.
Even if Buchholz does start, expect Doubront to pitch long relief if needed.
If you are wondering why Jon Lester would not be used a day early, modern managers are very leery of using pitchers on three-days rest if they can avoid it.
You would also need to find a different starter in Game 5 unless thy bumped everyone a day.
In 2013, that is not going to happen. The days of three-man rotations, sadly, are over.
Onto Game 3:
–Xander Bogaerts will bat sixth in the Sox lineup.
Yes, that is a bit of a surprise considering his performance in the first two games.
He will hit behind Daniel Nava and ahead of Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
He told reporters after taking infield that he felt fine, but manager Mike Matheny is taking no chances with Craig’s health.
He will pinch hit Saturday instead.
–Despite going one-for-seven with three strikeouts, Stephen Drew is at short.
Manager John Farrell says Drew’s glove is too good to leave out.
Will Middlebrooks, however, must wonder what he must do to play. Bogaerts, who took his place, is 0-for-six so far with four strikeouts.
Big Papi is four-for-six in the series so far with two big homers.
Mike Napoli struggled in Boston. Outside of his three-run double in Game 1, he has walked once and went one-for-six at the plate.
–Kelly has struggled in the playoffs so far.
In three stats, he has given up eight earned runs in 16.1 innings.
He has not thrown more than 100 pitches since September 6.
–Peavy has to improve on his three-inning, seven earned-run performance his last time out against the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.
You know he will be nervous and excited, but he has to channel that into eating as many innings as he can.
With the bullpen slated for long duty Sunday behind Buchholz, Peavy can do Boston the most good by pitching six innings.
*All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.
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