ST. LOUIS — Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, in an interview on WEEI, suggested that the Sox believe that Clay Buchholz is “ready to go” and give the team a full workload for Game 4 of the World Series.
“Clay is ready to go. He’s fully armed and loaded. We anticipate Clay giving us 100 pitches and getting into the seventh inning, that’s first and foremost,” said Lovullo, in a conversation about how the Sox used their pitching staff in Game 3 knowing that there are questions about what Buchholz might be able to offer as the Game 4 starter. “But you always have to have that backup thought that just in case, you better have some length or somebody in there to have a little bit of coverage.”
Lovullo also discussed the Sox’ impetus for having Mike Napoli take grounders at third base prior to Game 3 of the World Series, chuckling that team officials knew that having the first baseman do so would “raise some eyebrows.” But he suggested while the Sox are contemplating using Napoli at a position he hasn’t played as a professional since 2004, the team does not view Napoli as an option to start at third base. Lovullo characterized Napoli at third base as being preparation for “an emergency situation.”
“We’re looking for any advantage that we can have, any advantage that will help us score runs by putting the best players out on the field at any given time,” said Lovullo. “[The idea of Napoli at third base is] more of a) an emergency situation b) a quick matchup where we could put him out there for one inning with a double-switch and then potentially have another double-switch where, there might be a pinch-run situation or something for [David Ortiz] where we can slide Napoli back over to first base and now play defense in a go-ahead situation. It’s not for a long-term, nine-inning start. It’s mostly for an emergency, a quick inning double-switch or maybe lightning in a bottle, hit a three-run home run, go ahead and slide him over there, in a situation where we already have maneuvered with some of our backup infielders — in this case, Will — in the game.”
While Lovullo would not detail what changes the Red Sox might make to their Game 4 lineup, he did say that the team was engaged in animated discussions to determine the best deployment for Sunday night.
“We are constantly thinking, looking over every possible advantage we can get,” said Lovullo. “Unfortunately, we’re in a National League ballpark. We can’t play everybody. I think everybody knows that. But I just want the fans to know, I want you guys to know, that between our front office and the staff here sitting down in the clubhouse, we’re trying to exhaust every possibility that’s going to give us the best advantage.”
– Lovullo said that the most difficult decision that manager John Farrell faced was whether or not to leave Brandon Workman in the game to hit for himself rather than turning to Mike Napoli to pinch-hit.
“There were several key moments in the game. I think hardest decision was, do we hit Napoli in Workman’s spot, or do we allow Workman to go out there and create better matchups, give us a better situation, extend innings, give us the best advantage possible for the right pitching matchups. That’s how we’re looking at that,” said Lovullo. “I think it’s more pitching and defense oriented. We talked about that potentially coming down the pipe for about an inning or two. John felt strongly that he wanted Workman to go back out there for a second inning of work, have those precise matchups that were created by that second inning of work.”
– Lovullo, with the benefit of a day to think about the game-ending obstruction ruling, had this to say about the play and the rule:
“It’s easy for me to say I hate the rule. It was a tough pill for us to swallow last night. There was quite an uproar by all of us,” said Lovullo. “Once we slowed the play down, once we saw the play unfold, [Will Middlebrooks] is of no fault whatsoever. He’s just trying to be an athlete, make an athletic play, moving for the baseball, it got by him, now he’s minding his own business, laying on the ground, but the rule does clearly state, in favor of the runner, he cannot be hindered in any way moving forward to the next base, and if he is, then it’s obstruction. I think that [Cardinals slugger Allen Craig, who got entangled with Middlebrooks at third but advanced home and was credited with scoring the winning run] deserves a lot of credit because he stumbled and fell, and he continued to go towards home plate. Had he just stopped for a second, paused, maybe even walked or given up and forfeited his opportunity to advance to the next base, then the play would never have happened. But once he stumbled and fell, continued through the play, then the play is active.
“In hindsight,” Lovullo complained, “I wish the rule was changed because it didn’t favor us, but I think the umpires did get the play right.”
We check in with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin of the NFL Network joined Dale and Michael to break down and analyze Pats-Jets.
We check in with Tom E for a full breakdown of the Patriots close win over the Jets.
ESPN Insider, Adam Schefter, discusses Rex Ryan's job security, Marvin Lewis concussion comments, as well as the Patriots-Jets
Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.
Dr Nick Leung for the Newton Wellesley Orthopedics Association joins Ben to talk about Rajon Rondo's broken hand.
The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.
Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
The world's biggest Canadiens fan Tony Marinaro joins MFB after the Bruins and Tuukka Rask suffered another loss in Montreal.
We check in with NESN's Jack Edwards for a Bruins-Canadiens preview, live from French-Quebec.
Pierre McGuire joins MFB to analyze last night's Bruins-Red Wings game and preview tonight's game against the Canadiens. Pierre also offers his take on fighting in the NHL.
Rodney Harrison on the Pats close win over the Jets.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing the Pats win last night.
Red Wine Baths and a Blind Jake Peavy
We discuss the Bruins loss in Montreal, and more importantly their loss of composure, and whether or not Lucic and Marchand are pulling their weight.
Dale, Michael and Barstoolsports Jerry Thornton break down the Pats close win over the Jets on Thursday Night Football.
Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.
Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.
This week Pete gives the listeners a brief, but enthusiastic history lesson the ineptitude of the New York Jets. They also help you set your final rosters for your Week 7 fantasy teams.
Predictions for the Revs moving into the playoffs, Jurgen Klinsmann vs Don Garber, and Ben needs a new European team to root for.
Rodney Harrison on the Pats close win over the Jets.More from this show
John Rooke is in studio as Scott Cordischi joins us from Princeton, as he preps his Brown Bears for today’s game. They open the first hour looking at the Patriots win over the struggling NY Jets and the(not so) controversial referee action resulting in the game winning blocked kick. John goes solo in hour two, taking more of your calls, texts and tweets. Midnight Madness is back for NCAABB and Rex Ryan takes time from licking his wounds, to join us for “3 Things”.More from this show
Craig and Larry start breaking down Thursday night's 27-25 win over the Jets. Amendola had a huge TD catch. Tom Brady looked good, (but so did Geno.) Also, Chris Jones got some redemption with a last-second FG block.More from this show