Sunday, September 29, 2013
Pregame notes: Rest day for Lackey, others
By Gordon Edes
BALTIMORE -- A few quick hits before the season finale:
* John Farrell broached the idea of skipping Sunday’s start to John Lackey during Saturday night’s game, and Lackey was amenable to the idea, which is why rookie Allen Webster drew the starting assignment.
* Lackey finishes the season with a 10-13 record and 3.52 in 29 starts and 189 1/3 innings, exceeding all expectations for a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery 17 months before the start of the 2013 season.
* Farrell said he expects to use several relievers on Sunday, including Felix Doubront, who has yet to pitch out of the pen after starting all season. Doubront had a lengthy conversation with GM Ben Cherington on the field before Saturday’s game, and it remains to be seen whether he will be kept on the postseason roster as a reliever.
* Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava were both given the day off, assuring both of them of finishing the season with a .300 average, which, even in this age of advanced sabermetrics, is a recognized benchmark. Nava is at .303, Pedroia .301. Pedroia played 160 games, a new club record.
* Jacoby Ellsbury, who sat Saturday, was back in the starting lineup Sunday and begins the day at .297. Ellsbury finishes at .300 if he goes 2-for-2, 3-for-3, or 3-for-4. He would give the Sox a fourth .300 hitter. David Ortiz leads the team with a .308 average.
* Shortstop Stephen Drew also was given the day off.
* Farrell said Ellsbury’s health is no longer a factor in whether the club carries an extra center-fielder in the postseason.
* Farrell said backup catcher David Ross “absolutely” will get at least one start in the playoffs, probably against a left-handed starter.
* The decision on whether to carry 10 or 11 pitchers has yet to be made.
* The Sox are assured of being no worse than tied for the best record in the majors. The Cardinals begin the day a game behind the Sox, who are 97-64. The Cardinals are 96-65.
* Still alive is the Sox stolen-base streak. They’ve stolen 38 in a row without being caught, most since Toronto stole 38 in 1993.