BOSTON -- John Farrell continued to maintain that Clay Buchholz will start either Game 3 or Game 4 in St. Louis this weekend, while subtly acknowledging that there is a physical issue with the starting pitcher.
"(Jake) Peavy and Buchholz will start over the weekend,'' said Farrell. "We haven't determined the exact game yet. Part of it is trying to take a look at (Game 2) and see how things match up with (John) Lackey. But both guys are aware of that and both guys have done their normal in-between start routine to enable us to make a decision at some point late (Thursday).''
The Sox want to see how the Cardinals lineup looks against Lackey before determining how they want to set up the weekend.
"There's different style between Peavy and Buchholz,'' said Farrell, "and that how we'll adjust.''
Another factor is making sure that Buchholz, if he pitched Game 3, is capable of coming back for Game 7 -- if the series were to go that long.
"If we feel that there's something beneficial to an additional day of rest,'' said Farrell, "we'll certainly take advantage of that. (His ability to return for Game 7) that's being factored in, yeah. We have to stay conscious of that, given the last two starts, when he he's hit the wall, it's happened pretty quick. And all that is being factored in.
"We do notice that there's a visible difference in his stuff (at some point in the gamee he's started) and that's our guide. I think right now, we're a little more in tune (with the fact) that when it starts, we have to react a little quicker.''
Asked if there were any physical issues with Buchholz, Farrell measured his words carefully.
"Not to the point of keeping him out of starting,'' said Farrell.
Asked again if Buchholz had some phyiscal issue, Farrell repeated the same answer: "Not to the point where he's not going to pitch.''
The Sox were concerned enough about Buchholz during Tuesday's workout that they had Felix Doubront throw to some hitters, with both Farrell and GM Ben Cherington watching intently. Doubront then went to the bullpen after throwing 30 pitches to hitters and threw some more, accompanied by pitching coach Juan Nieves.
"It was scheduled,'' said Farrell. "Just getting some work in.''
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Farrell said he would go game-to-game when it comes to left field. Jonny Gomes, unsurprisingly, was the choice in left field for Game 1 and may also be in there for Game 2.
"There's going to be more ground to cover in St. Louis,'' said Farrell, which would indicate that Daniel Nava, the better outfielder of the two, would get the call over the weekend.
Another factor will be that the two righties scheduled in St. Louis -- Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn -- struggle more with lefthanded hitters more than the Game 1 (Adam Wainwright) and Game 2 (Michael Wacha) starters.
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The Sox also watched Matt Thornton throw to hitters Tuesday, but Farrell said there wasn't any thought given to replacing Franklin Morales with Thornton.
Morales pitched poorly in relief in Game 6 of the ALCS, allowing a four-pitch walk and a two-run single to the only two batters he faced.
"We recognize it was a rough outing,'' said Farrell. "And yet when we set the rosters for the postseason, Franklin was really coming on, with the ability to get a strikeout with men on base. But it didn't happen the other night.''