BOSTON (AP) -Daisuke Matsuzaka will follow Josh Beckett in Boston's postseason rotation against the Angels, leaving Curt Schilling for Game 3 when the series shifts to Anaheim.
The Red Sox decided to have Schilling pitch on Sunday instead of Friday to give him two extra days of rest. If Boston's first-round series goes the full five games, Schilling would be in line to pitch the opener of the AL championship series against the New York Yankees or Cleveland.
``We're trying to gear up for 2 1/2 or 3 weeks of starts,'' manager Terry Francona said Monday.
Schilling last pitched Sept. 25, when he allowed one run in six innings of a 7-3 victory over Oakland. Francona isn't worried that Schilling will be rusty.
``I really don't have any qualms about it or I wouldn't have done it,'' Francona said.
With an off day between Games 1 and 2, another between Games 2 and 3, and a third between Games 4 and 5, Boston can use a three-man rotation in the first round. That means knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (17-12) will begin the series in the bullpen.
``He understands,'' Francona said.
Beckett (20-7), who leads the major league in wins, was a no-brainer to start the opener and will be opposed by John Lackey (19-9).
Kelvim Escobar (18-7) is slated to pitch Game 2 for the Angels and be followed by Jared Weaver (13-7).
Matsuzaka (15-12) tired down the stretch. He went 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA in eight starts after Aug. 4 before beating Minnesota in Friday's AL clincher, when he struck out eight in eight innings and allowed two runs and six hits.
He went 8-4 with a 4.86 ERA at home and 7-8 with a 4.02 ERA on the road. Matsuzaka never faced the Angels in his rookie season, while Schilling went 2-1 against them.
``The unfamiliarity, I think, definitely favors the pitcher the first time around,'' Francona said.

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Giants Win Total Prediction Are the San Francisco Giants due for a letdown season in 2017 after making the playoffs in 2016?
Thumbnail Blue Jays Win Total Prediction Can the Toronto Blue Jays have enough pop in their bats to make another playoff run in 2017?
Thumbnail Pirates Win Total Prediction After missing out on the playoffs last season, will the Pittsburgh Pirates get back to being a contender in the competitive NL...
Thumbnail Phillies Win Total Prediction Can the Philadelphia Phillies inch closer to the .500 mark in the 2017 season? Here’s our preview of the team’s season.
Thumbnail Yankees Win Total Prediction Lacking in name power like it used to have, will the New York Yankees find a way to scale the AL East standings this season?

MLB Team Pages