Red Sox ready to take on Yankees
BOSTON (AP) - Curt Schilling's ankle shouldn't be a problem when the AL championship series starts Tuesday. Neither should Tim Wakefield's time off.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona will make sure of that.
Wakefield, who last pitched on Oct. 1 and may not pitch again until Game 4, will face hitters during Boston's workout on Sunday instead of just throwing to a catcher on the side. And Francona wants Schilling to take a painkilling shot before his probable start in Game 1.
The Red Sox advanced by completing a 3-0 sweep of Anaheim in the AL division series with an 8-6 win Friday. That gave them three days off before playing on the road against the New York Yankees or Minnesota Twins.
Francona said Saturday that Schilling has tendinitis high in his right ankle, unrelated to the soreness he felt earlier this season that was treated with injections of the painkiller marcaine.
Schilling didn't use it in the division series opener when he went 6 2-3 innings in a 9-3 win. But Francona doesn't see a downside to the injection and thinks Schilling will get one before his next start.
"The thing that we don't want to have happen is, when he's out there pitching, have him feel it. I think that really bothers him mentally more than anything," Francona said. "If he goes back to the shots, which I think he's going to, he doesn't feel it."
Francona doesn't have to announce his roster for the next series until Tuesday, and he didn't announce his pitching rotation on Saturday. But he did say he probably wouldn't start Schilling on three days rest.
"If I thought it was an advantage, I think we would definitely look into it," said Francona, who added that the rotation will probably be the same whether Boston faces Minnesota or New York.
The first-round starters - Schilling, Pedro Martinez and Bronson Arroyo - all pitched well. Schilling allowed two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings, Martinez gave up three in seven innings and Arroyo yielded two in six innings.
Wakefield would have pitched Saturday if the Angels had forced a Game 4. Instead, Francona plans to have him throw during the team's last workout before leaving Boston.
"We'll try to align something up tomorrow to alleviate some of those concerns," Francona said. "We'll try to get some hitters for Wake."
Boston's other regular-season starter, Derek Lowe, was relegated to long relief and entered Friday's game in the 10th inning after relievers Mike Myers, Mike Timlin, Alan Embree and Keith Foulke already had been used.
Lowe, who struggled late in the season, got into a first-and-third jam but held Anaheim scoreless. David Ortiz's two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th made Lowe the winner.
"There were a lot of people, including myself, who were very happy for him," Francona said. "For all Derek's ups and downs this year, his teammates love him to death."
Schilling, whose 21 wins led the majors, got his throws in before Friday's game.
"He threw 52 pitches," Francona said. "That's a pretty good session."
The team's training staff is working on different kinds of taping on the ankle. Schilling also had X-rays just to make sure there was no stress fracture.
One pitcher who won't be healthy is reliever Scott Williamson, who is exploring elbow surgery.
"He's done" for the season, Francona said.
Williamson nearly underwent Tommy John surgery late in the season but was activated on Sept. 9. He finished the year at 0-1 with a 1.26 ERA in 28 relief appearances, but his inability to pitch on consecutive days was a major reason he was left off the postseason roster.
The right-hander missed almost all the 2001 season after having Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.