BOSTON – A fairly quiet morning at Fenway Park. So, just a few notes to get you started:
· With a day game after a night game, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is getting a day off. David Ross is catching, batting eighth. Saltalamacchia said his back, which had sidelined him for five games last week, is fine. “Just a day off,” he said.
· Right-handed-hitting Xander Bogaerts is playing shortstop, batting ninth, with Stephen Drew getting a day off against Yankees’ lefty CC Sabathia.
· While there was some speculation that Dustin Pedroia would get a day off today, (he told some reporters after Friday’s game that he had received an anti-inflammatory shot in his wrist), he is batting lead-off again. Manager John Farrell, when asked if there was any questions regarding Pedroia’s availability today, replied: “None.”
· Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been sidelined with a fractured navicular bone in his right foot, began physical activities yesterday. He had been wearing a protective boot on the foot, which was injured when he fouled a ball off it on Aug. 28. Asked how he came through yesterday’s work, Farrell replied:
“As anticipated. He’s going thru more exercises here today, which is all part of his rehab plan at the time of the exam. So no baseball activities. This is just all physical activities.”
· Right-hander Clay Buchholz is scheduled to make his second start since coming off the disabled list on Tuesday, where he spent nearly three months. Farrell has said there won’t be any set pitch count on Buchholz, but the right-hander will be monitored throughout his outing, with stress of pitches just as significant as the number of pitches.
Farrell has said the consistency on Buchholz’s secondary pitches may be the final step to return. But, the manager has been impressed with Buchholz’s performance so far.
“The reports that we got in his final rehab start, that was clearly taking place in innings two, three, and four of that final outing,” Farrell said. “But it was impressive to see him go out in the first start back with us and have the feel to the secondary stuff. So to his credit, he just has that ability to manipulate the baseball.”
Left-hander Felix Doubront has not pitched since Sept. 6 is scheduled to throw a side session on Sunday and a simulated game on Tuesday. “And it’s likely he’ll be in the Toronto series in a starting role,” Farrell said.
· Lester is averaging 9.08 strikeouts per nine innings in his career against the Yankees, with 148 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings pitched. It is the third-highest rate against the Yankees in history (with a minimum of 125 innings pitched), trailing on Pedro Martinez’s 10.84 and Randy Johnson’s 9.24. He has eight wins against the Yankees since the start of the 2009 season, tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price for the most by any pitcher against the Yankees in that span. In his last five starts since Aug. 19, Lester is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA, giving up eight earned runs in 36 2/3 innings, pitching at least six innings in all five starts.
In 25 career starts against the Yankees he is 10-5, with a 4.11 ERA. In nine starts at Fenway against the Yankees, he is 2-2 with a 5.11 ERA.
· Left-hander CC Sabathia is scheduled to make his 31st start of the season on Saturday afternoon. It will be his 27th career start against the Red Sox and fifth this season. He is 10-10 with a 4.62 ERA in his career against the Sox. Since joining the Yankees in 2009, he is 8-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 19 starts against the Sox, with just three wins at Fenway Park. He last started on Sept. 9 at Baltimore, taking the loss after going 7 1/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned on seven hits. He has won four of his last six starts since Aug. 13, going 4-2 with a 5.21 ERA, giving up 22 earned runs in 38 innings. Prior to that he had lost five of his previous eight starts, going 1-5 with a 6.12 ERA, giving up 34 earned runs in 50 innings.
The Sox have won their last nine games when facing a lefty starter, going back to Aug. 21 at San Francisco against Barry Zito.