The World Series is shifting to St. Louis on Saturday for the next three games, and the Boston Red Sox have made a few announcements about who will be playing in those contests. Daniel Nava will start in left field in Game 3, and David Ortiz will start at first base, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Abraham also reports that Clay Buchholz will take the mound in Game 4 despite rumors that an injury may have led to his poor performance in the ALCS.
Nava has received limited playing time in the postseason, collecting only 16 plate appearances despite posting an .831 OPS in 536 plate appearances during the regular season. In comparison, his platoon-mate, Jonny Gomes, has accrued 34 plate appearances in the playoffs. Gomes is hitless in seven at-bats in the World Series, though, and the left-handed hitting Nava will face the right-handed Joe Kelly in Game 3. Without the benefit of the designated hitter in the National League park, Ortiz will shift to first base and Mike Napoli will presumably be forced to the bench.
Buchholz's health was a cause for concern after the oft-injured right-hander fell flat in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. He made two starts in that series, failing to make it through six innings either time and allowing seven runs overall in 10⅔ innings. He will face Lance Lynn in Game 4 on Sunday; Jake Peavy starts for the Red Sox in Game 3 on Saturday against Kelly. SB Nation's Over The Monster weighs in with these quotes from Buchholz:
"I couldn't really get loose," Buchholz said. "It was a constant tightness that I felt. That's all there is. I'm going to go. That's my only goal, to be prepared to start on Sunday."
"I've got maybe one start left. This is where you want to throw it all on the line. That's sort of how I'm looking at it right now," Buchholz said. "I haven't been 100 percent in a long time now."