BOSTON – Will Middlebrooks will be the Red Sox starting third baseman for Game 1 of their ALCS matchup against the Tigers.
“It will be Middlebrooks [Saturday],” said manager John Farrell. “And then based on some matchups, we've got some things that we're looking at in a couple of different spots.
* But with the Tigers starting four right-handers – Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Doug Fister, looking for any obvious righty-lefty matchups won’t be available. But, Farrell said he will find a start for catcher David Ross.
“There's a place for him in here,” Farrell said. “As I see it on paper on a couple of situations. I've yet to meet with both he and [Jarrod Saltalamacchia]. So forgive me if I'm not going to reveal that right now. I think it's important that they hear it first. But there's some matchups in here that ‑‑ Salty's had good performance against some guys in the rotation. We'll look to mix and match. And it may be strength of the combination on our side as opposed to facing an opposing pitcher."
* That would apply for Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp, as well, Farrell said.
“The strength of this team has been the depth of its roster,” he said. “ There are going to be some matchups that we think are more favorable in one case or another. And we've had the utmost ‑‑ we've had complete confidence in every guy in our uniform. And they're going to be involved.
“It's been a trait of this team. And then when we've looked to get it ‑‑ a productive pinch‑hit, it's because they've had some recent activity. And we envision that to be the case over the course of the seven‑game series.”
* Asked if he could envision left-hander Felix Doubront, who has yet to make a postseason appearance, facing the Tigers 3-4-5 hitters, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Victor Martinez, Farrell replied:
“Possibly, but as has Craig Breslow [had some success against them]. There's been some success with him as well through the portion of that lineup. Again, game situation, inning, score, there's going to be a number of things that will factor into this, as will be the case.”
* Right-hander John Lackey, who will start Game 3, threw 30 pitches in a two-inning simulated game Friday afternoon.
* David Ortiz has appeared in all 61 Sox postseason games since 2003, second-most in team history to Jason Varitek's 63. He is the team’s all-time leader in postseason runs with 43, hits (66), doubles (16), home runs (14), RBI (46), walks (46), and extra-base hits (32).
* The Sox are 17-13 all-time in the opening game of a postseason series, going 8-5 at Fenway Park. The Sox have won six of their last seven series openers in the postseason since the 2007 ALDS. In Game 1 of an ALCS, the Sox are 4-5, going 2-3 at home, and have won three of their last four.