Farrell still mulling options with Buchholz

Clay Buchholz is healthy enough to start in this World Series, according to manager John Farrell.

But it still hasn’t been decided if Buchholz will start Game 3 on Saturday or Sunday’s Game 4.

Jake Peavy will pitch the game either before or after Buchholz, with ace Jon Lester returning  for Game 5.

After missing three months with a right bursa sac strain, Buchholz had just four starts back in the rotation before the postseason started.

The righty hasn’t looked like himself in any of his three postseason starts, posting a 5.40 ERA and giving up a .284 opponents batting average. Buchholz has a no decision in all three of his starts.

Is Buchholz dealing with residual effects of his original injury, or does he have a new malady?

“Not to the point of keeping him out of starting,” said Farrell.

The difference between Buchholz pitching Game 3 or 4 is considerable, considering the following: If he pitches Game 3, it means the Red Sox are confident that he’s healthy and strong enough to pitch twice in the Fall Classic.

“That’s being factored in,” said Farrell. “I mean, I have to stay conscious of that, given the last two starts when he’s hit the wall, it’s happened pretty quick. All that is being factored in.”

Buchholz has started fairly strong in all three postseason starts. But by the mid-innings, he’s completely lost his rhythm.

The third time through the batting order, Buchholz has been hit at a .529 clip. From pitches 61-75, batters are hitting .264 against him. From pitches 76-90, he’s given up six hits in nine at-bats.

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