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Rain creates options for Sox10/15/2004 10:17 PM ET
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- How did Friday's Game 3 rainout alter Red Sox manager Terry Francona's rotation for the rest of this American League Championship Series? So far, it hasn't. But thanks to the postponement, Francona now has more options available to him.
Bronson Arroyo and Tim Wakefield will still pitch Games 3 and 4, now slated for Saturday and Sunday.
The flexibility is with Game 5, which will be Monday as long as the Red Sox keep the series alive by winning at least one of the next two games.
For now, Derek Lowe is slated to replace the injured Curt Schilling in Game 5. But if the Sox find themselves on the brink of elimination, Francona now has the option of pitching Pedro Martinez in that game on what would be a full four days of rest.
"What it's going to come down to is we are trying to win the series," said Francona. "That will be how we base our decision solely -- not to extend the series, to get to a certain game. It's based on trying to win four games. So that's what we're going to do."
If the series is tied, 2-2 after four games, Francona would probably stay with Lowe, at least if you go by the numbers.
Lowe is 42-23 in his career at Fenway Park, and 3-5 with a 6.02 ERA lifetime at Yankee Stadium. Martinez's Yankee Stadium ERA (3.00) is roughly three runs lower than Lowe's.
If nothing else, Arroyo and Wakefield will both be rested for their starts the next two days.
Arroyo's last start was the Game 3 clincher of the Division Series on Oct. 8, meaning that he'll make Saturday's start on seven days of rest.
While Wakefield came out of the bullpen for one inning in Game 1 of the ALCS, he last started a game on Oct. 1.
"Last week I threw kind of a simulated couple of innings to some hitters," said Wakefield, "and then I got into Tuesday's game, which really helped, so we'll see what happens."
The current wild card in the Boston rotation is Schilling. He tested his ailing right ankle out in a bullpen session Friday, and Francona didn't rule him out for the rest of the series.
"He actually did pretty well," said Francona. "Well, enough where are just leaving the door open for his season not to be over, but that's about the extent of it right now."
Francona didn't sense the Sox got much of a tangible advantage from the rainout.
"Well, [the Yankees] didn't win tonight," Francona said. "You know what? I guess I kind of view it that we didn't play. We still need to win when we play next, and that should be [Saturday]."
If this series stretches to a seventh game, it is currently unknown who the Sox would pitch. Originally, it would have been Arroyo, but thanks to the restructured schedule, Game 7 would put the right-hander on three days' rest.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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