The Red Sox have been quiet with roster moves in the 2013 postseason. Due to generally positive performances, there has been no need to swap players out between series. However, John Farrell has announced a move that the Red Sox will likely enact for this World Series and although it is not a big one, it’s a potentially key and controversial one. That is the question of swapping Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy in the rotation so that Peavy starts Game 3 and Buchholz starts Game 4.
Oct 19, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) is congratulated by his teammates after being relieved during the sixth inning in game six of the American League Championship Series baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
On the surface, this looks like a minor move at best. However, the concern is that the starter of Game 3 would also start Game 7 if it were to happen. One would think that Buchholz, who posted a 12-1 record and 1.74 ERA this season, would be the man for the job. However, Buchholz has posted a 5.40 ERA in three postseason starts, and while Peavy’s 8.31 ERA is actually much worse, much of that can be attributed to one bad inning in Game 4 of the ALCS.
This may or may not influence Farrell, but it’s also worth considering that this is Peavy’s first World Series and he may have the motivation to throw a gem. Of course, that’s not accusing Buchholz of a lack of motivation. Whether this move works out, or even matters, is one that really can only be determined in hindsight. So, let’s see how this plays out.