BOSTON – The Cardinals and Red Sox finished the regular season with identical records of 97-65. Red Sox manager John Farrell gave a brief scouting report on the Cardinals:
“We’re going up against a very complete team," Farrell said Monday afternoon. "We’re still in our own process of getting familiar with them. They have very good young pitching, very good pitching in general.
"Just what I’ve looked at so far, they’re well balanced. Obviously they hit with men in scoring position like no other, and they look to put guys in motion with the hit-and-run quite a bit. They’ve got a very complete team. How we neutralize Carlos Beltran, for one, Matt Holliday, another, who’s been swinging the bat very well, what impact [catcher] Yadier [Molina] will have on us and our running game remains to be seen. But this is a very, very good team that we’re going up against.”
As he did in the ALDS and ALCS, left-hander Jon Lester will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Cardinals Wednesday night at Fenway Park. After that, the rotation is unknown.
“We haven’t gotten into that,” said Farrell. “We’re still in the process of familiarizing ourselves with the Cardinals.”
Right-hander Adam Wainwright is expected to start Game 1 for St. Louis. Wainwright was 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA in the regular season. He is a combined 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in three postseason starts, going 2-0 in the NLDS and 0-1 in the NLCS.
Farrell said he expects to announce the rest of his rotation on Wednesday.
The Red Sox will be without the designated hitter for at least two and as many as three games in St. Louis.
“With David going to first base, which he will when we get over to St. Louis, how many days he’ll play in those three games there remains to be seen, it is different for us,” Farrell said.” Personally when we go into National League ballparks I think we’re at a greater disadvantage than the reverse of that, when National League teams come in here. I rely so heavily on [bench coach] Torey [Lovullo] and [third base coach Brian Butterfield] in those situations to make guys aware of moves we’re contemplating being made so that the in-dugout communications becomes even that much more with potential moves. It’s a fun game, I will say that. It’s a definite different approach to it. So, again, regardless of where we play it’s going to come to the same key. And what that starting pitcher, how that pitcher keeps a game under control is the most important thing.”
David Ross has been behind the plate for Lester’s last two starts and three of his last four going back to Lester’s last regular season start. On Monday afternoon, though, Farrell was not sure who would catch for Lester in Game 1.
“Out of fairness to all we’ll announce that [later],” Farrell said. “The approach we’ve taken with David Ross catching Jon Lester, I don’t want to assume anything down in the clubhouse yet so we’ll announce that after I’ve had a chance to speak to those guys.”
On Jim Leyland, who announced his retirement Monday morning, Farrell said:
“Very surprised. I had sent him a text yesterday morning, just to congratulate he and the organization on not only a great team, a great year, and expressed the respect that we have for him, and certainly personally have for him for all the success he's had in his career, and then to see the announcement today, and to listen to him and know that early September this was very clear in his mind, that’s surprising. But my gosh when you take a step back and you someone who’s managed for what 22 years, it’s a helluva career and I’m sure one he’s extremely proud of.”