BOSTON — The Red Sox made the expected announcement Tuesday that John Lackey will start Game 2 on Thursday night.
But then things got interesting, causing speculation about the health of Clay Buchholz.
Manager John Farrell did not name the starters for Games 3 and 4, which were presumably Buchholz and Jake Peavy.
Buchholz had earlier skipped a pre-Series press conference, attended by every other player.
When asked if Buchholz was healthy, Farrell said yes.
“Everything is OK,” Farrell said. “We fully expect he and Jake to be pitching on the weekend in St. Louis.”
Farrell also said there were “no roster changes as of (Tuesday).”
Interestingly, after the Red Sox workout, Felix Doubront and Matt Thornton threw simulated innings against Boston batters.
Doubront, a starter all season, had been sent to the bullpen for the playoffs. Thornton is currently not on the post-season roster, but would be added if another pitcher is removed.
ADAM WAINWRIGHT is pitching Wednesday for the Cardinals, after sitting out the 2011 World Series because of an arm injury. Wainwright underwent Tommy John surgery and returned last season.
“I had terrible stuff last year,” Wainwright said. “I was trying to find a way to make it work. The fastball wasn’t fast. The change-up wasn’t changing, the slider wasn’t sliding. The only thing I had was my curveball.
“And to flip into this this year. The very first day of long toss, the very first throw the ball came out of my hand, it was like seeing that old friend you hadn’t seen in a long time.
“To have my stuff return was pretty exciting.”
Wainwright, 31, finished 19-9 this year with a 2.94 ERA. In the playoffs, he is 2-1 (1.56).
CARLOS BELTRAN was asked if the Green Monster at Fenway was a tempting target. “I got to do my thing,” he said. “If I hit it there, I hit it there.”
JON LESTER, the Red Sox Game 1 starter, is also 2-1 in the playoffs, with a 2.33 ERA.
Lester has only faced the Cardinals once and that was in 2008.
“I like to prepare for a team by kind of watching what I’ve done against them in the past,” Lester said. “That’s going to be a little tough.
“I’ll take a look at some video of these guys facing left-handed pitchers and try to take something from that.”
ALLEN CRAIG was officially cleared to play in the World Series, giving the Cardinals their designated hitter.
Craig had been the St. Louis first baseman before injuring his foot Sept. 4. He has been out since, but Matt Adams has filled in well.
Now the Cardinals will have both sluggers in the lineup in the first two games, played at Fenway.
“That gives us more depth,” Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny said.
Craig hit .315 with 13 home runs. He led the majors with a .454 average with runners in scoring position.
“I’ve never been in this situation, having not played (in a while),” Craig said. “Now I’m jumping into the World Series.”
THE CITY of Texarkana, Texas, has a rooting interest in the World Series – for both teams.
Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks, 25, and St. Louis pitcher Michael Wacha, 22, both hail from Texarkana, a city of 37,000 located on the Arkansas border.
They played a few games against each other in high school and once played on the same American Legion team.
“It’s a fun time for a lot of the people back home,” Middlebrooks said. “We have a lot of the same friends. A bunch are going to drive up for the games in St. Louis.”
Wacha said people in Texarkana “don’t know who to root for. But they know one World Series ring is coming back.”
CHRISTIAN VAZQUEZ is a promising catcher in the Red Sox organization, having played in Portland last year. Vazquez is not here, but one of his tutors from his home in Puerto Rico is here – St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
“Wow,” said Molina when asked about Vazquez. “He’s already a good player and he’s going to be a great player. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @ClearTheBases