Notes: Farrell, Lackey agree to skip final start

Notes: Farrell, Lackey agree to skip final start
September 29, 2013, 2:30 pm
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(AP Photo)

BALTIMORE -- John Lackey was scheduled to start the season finale Sunday, but the Red Sox made a change and instead went with rookie Allen Webster, followed by some relievers.
     
"Once we had clinched home field advantage (Saturday night)," said John Farrell, "I had mentioned to John during the game that we might take a little different look today. One option would have been to start and pull him back to a short outing, but he felt confident that he could remain sharp with some of the work between now and when we line him to pitch in the post-season.
     
"The fact that he's north of 100 innings, coming off a year in which he didn't pitch, we felt the extended rest would be beneficial to him."
     
Lackey will finish the season with a 10-13 mark and 3.52 ERA and Farrell said the success "goes back to the work he did in the off-season. He set the foundation with the way he reshaped his body, the way he got himself into shape. He's done a great job. The win-loss is not indicative of the way he's pitched. But right now, I think (it's) a well-deserved couple of days rest."
     
This season was something of a reclamation project for Lackey, who not only enjoyed his best season since coming to Boston, but also improved his image.
     
"He's pitched his way back to the level where he was pre-injury when he was with the Angels," said Farrell. "In some ways, he's re-written his own story with the way, first and foremost with the way he's performed. But second, he's made efforts to deal (better) with others who cover us. To hear games when he walks off to standing ovation, that probably hasn't been the case for a few years. In some ways, it mirrors what this whole team has gone through."
    
Farrell again reiterated that Lackey's better performance at home -- where his ERA is more than two runs lower than on the road -- could be a factor in mapping out the post-season rotation.
    
"It's clear, it's evident," he said. "It's certainly something we're factoring
in."

*****

As the team tries to figure out how to handle the eighth inning in the post-season. Farrell acknowledged that the team could be asking more out of closer Koji Uehara, who might be brought in before the ninth on occasion.
     
Uehara has had nine multi-inning appearances this season.
     
"We've done it," Farrell said, "so we're certainly willing to go more than a three-out save. Hell, there might be a six-out save at some point. Hopefully, we're in positions with a lead in the eighth inning and we'll turn to him again. What's even more easing is that he's done it for a period of time. He's been so efficient, you can push that a little bit with him."

*****
     
While Jarrod Saltalamacchia is clearly the No. 1 catcher, Farrell vowed that David Ross would get some starts in the post-season.
     
"Absolutely, for sure," he said. "He's had a trying year with the amount of time with the concussions. You look back to last year (with the Braves) they're in a one-game playoff and he started for Atlanta.  So it's not like it should be a surprise to anyone that he would get a post-season start."
     
Farrell said the decision would be made based on who was pitching for the Sox and who was pitching for the opponent.
     
"Probably a combination," the manager said. "But as well as he's hit left-handed starters in his career, that would be the first thing we looked at."