BOSTON — The Red Sox face potentially their final game of the season, and it’ll be up to Clay Buchholz to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Buchholz will start Monday in Game 3 of the Red Sox’s American League Division Series matchup against the Cleveland Indians, who are up 2-0. The right-hander already has postseason experience with the Red Sox in the 2009 ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels and throughout Boston’s World Series run in 2013. He allowed more than three runs in only one of his five playoff starts, and the Red Sox are 3-2 when he pitches in the postseason, though he never has factored into the decision.
Red Sox manager John Farrell expressed complete confidence in Buchholz on Sunday before Game 3 was postponed because of rain.
“There’s been a couple of things,” Farrell said of Buchholz’s recent improvement. “He went to the bullpen to address maybe some slight mechanical adjustments, more with his arm slot. In line with that is a brick-by-brick rebuild of his confidence. So shorter stints, successful stints allowed him to regain that confidence. And as he’s gone exclusively from the stretch, his execution of pitches has been much more consistent.”
If Buchholz can’t go deep into the game, Farrell said the entire pitching staff, save for Tuesday’s starter Rick Porcello, is available. As for the batting order, that remains unchanged from Game 2.
Here are the Red Sox’s and Indians’ lineups for ALDS Game 3.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Brock Holt, 3B
Mookie Betts, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Sandy Leon, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Clay Buchholz, RHP (8-10, 4.78 ERA in regular season)
Carlos Santana, DH
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Francisco Lindor, SS
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Lonnie Chisenhall, RF
Coco Crisp, LF
Tyler Naquin, CF
Roberto Perez, C
Josh Tomlin, RHP (13-9, 4.40 ERA in regular season)
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images