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MLB Red Sox face uphill battle in Game 4 | Fox Sports

Tim McCarver and Joe Buck take a closer look at a wild Game 3.Tim McCarver and Joe Buck take a closer look at a wild Game 3.

Ken Rosenthal

Updated Oct 27, 2013 4:37 AM ET


Now what for the Boston Red Sox?

Clay Buchholz, that’s what. And based on the right-hander’s anxious state leading to his Game 4 start, the Red Sox can’t be especially confident.

So, which Buchholz will we see? It’s anyone’s guess, but it would be an upset if he pitched more than six innings. And the Sox will want him to go at least that deep, considering that Jake Peavy lasted only four innings in Saturday night’s stunning 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Left-hander Felix Doubront probably will be available for one inning after throwing 25 pitches in relief of Peavy. Right-hander Ryan Dempsterrepresents a multi-inning option. And if the Red Sox hit Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn — a not-unreasonable expectation — then their entire staff will operate with greater margin for error.

OK, but if the Sox are going to hit, Farrell needs to try some other hitters. Inserting Daniel Nava forJonny Gomes in Game 3 was a start – Nava went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Farrell also should consider benching shortstopStephen Drew, who is 4-for-42 in the post-season, and going with Xander Bogaerts at short and Will Middlebrooks at third. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is another possibility to sit — he has made pivotal defensive mistakes in each of the last two games, and is in a 3-for-25 slump.

Saltalamacchia’s throw to third with the score tied in the ninth inning of Game 3, on the other hand, was too risky. Second baseman Dustin Pedroiahad thrown home to nail Yadier Molina for the second out after making a spectacular diving stop with the infield in on Jon Jay. Saltalamacchia should have just stopped there.

Farrell said that with the score tied, he wanted to get more out of Workman. But the better move, as Farrell conceded afterward, would have been to make a double switch after Saltalamacchia grounded out to end the eighth, the precise moment when Workman entered the game.

Workman could have hit in Saltalamacchia’s spot, with Ross replacing Salty and batting ninth. Instead, the plan to use Workman for two innings backfired after he allowed a one-out single by Molina in the ninth, and Farrell pulled him for Koji Uehara. That’s right, Farrell gained only one out by failing to hit Napoli for Workman. Not good. Not good at all.

And so the Red Sox go to Game 4, with a pitcher who is less than 100 percent and a lineup that is at less than full strength. They’re too good to lose three straight in St. Louis and suffer elimination before ever getting back to Boston. But things need to change Sunday night. In the dugout. On the mound. At the plate.