10/14/2004 1:36 PM ET
Schilling scratched from Game 5
Lowe set to start in right-hander's absence
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
|Curt Schilling lasted just three innings during Game 1 of the ALCS. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
BOSTON -- If the Red Sox climb their way out of their current hole and advance to Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, injured ace Curt Schilling will not get the ball.
Schilling's right ankle -- which will require surgery as soon as the season ends -- had not progressed enough for the right-hander to make his scheduled bullpen session at Fenway Park during Friday's offday.
"He's just a little too sore to go attempt his side session today," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "So what they'll do is they'll continue to work on Schil with the medical staff, the training staff, but as far as Sunday goes, he's not our starter."
The Red Sox trail the best-of-seven series to the Yankees, 2-0.
Bronson Arroyo will pitch Game 3 and Tim Wakefield gets the nod in Game 4. If those pitchers can get the Sox to Game 5, Derek Lowe, who was moved to the bullpen for the playoffs, will rejoin the rotation and
take the ball in Schilling's absence.
However, with rain in the forecast for the weekend, Pedro Martinez could pitch Game 5 on four days' rest if it were pushed back to Monday.
"Weather could dictate some changes," said Francona. "But if everything stays like it's supposed to, and we still need to get to Game 5, but yeah, it's Derek."
Lowe, frustrated that he hasn't had much of an opportunity to contribute in this postseason, hopes the weather will hold up well enough for him to get his chance.
"We have to get to Game 5 first," said Lowe, who has 52 wins over the last three seasons. "All the talk should be about tomorrow's game and Game 4. Hopefully, in a perfect world, it will be tied and I'll get a chance to give us the lead."
Though Martinez said following his loss in Game 2 that he would be more than willing to pitch on three days' rest, Francona didn't seem inclined to take him up on that offer.
"As far as [Martinez] coming back early, I don't think that's going to happen," said Francona, "just because I don't think it puts us in a better position to win."
Schilling didn't speak to the media before exiting Fenway Park on Thursday. However, he did, as he frequently does, place a call to WEEI-850 during the mid-day talk show.
Among other things, "Curt in the car phone" said that the torn sheath behind the tendon in his ankle actually occurred during his final regular season start against the Yankees (Sept. 26) and not in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Angels.
"I mean, the short of it is I tore this thing facing Miguel Cairo, the last out of the Yankee game during the regular season," Schilling told WEEI. "And it popped on the first pitch thrown to him and there was some pain. I threw five more pitches I think to finish that game. I was out of that game after that.
"Dr. Morgan diagnosed it probably 30 seconds after we got done looking at it. We treated it. He told me everything that was going to happen. The training staff was freakin' phenomenal in getting me out there to face Anaheim. We had some issues in the Anaheim game. I got injected in third inning in Anaheim, and it flared up again later in that game. As far as tweaking it on the play, that last play where I threw the ball away against Anaheim, it popped a couple of different times because I took a couple of different wrong steps, but that wasn't the trigger."
Francona said the club still holds out hope Schilling will pitch again this season.
"It's not over," said Francona. "He's going to continue to try to prepare."
Schilling did not rule out stepping on the mound again in 2004.
"Too broad a question, I don't know," Schilling said. "They're doing everything they can. I trust they're going to find something. If I can't do it without altering my mechanics, they'll have to do it without me."
Despite their current predicament, the Sox remain confident they can succeed without their 21-game winner.
"We have an ace. We've got Pedro Martinez," said Sox first baseman Kevin Millar. "It's not built around one guy. He's obviously a guy we want in our rotation. But if he can't go, we have guys who can step up."
Until further notice, Schilling will be around to lend knowledge and support to his teammates.
"Curt's been there for a lot of his teammates all year," said Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "He'll be the same guy that we're going to bounce information off of. He's going to be there to support us. He's going to be on that bench, and he'll do everything between now and then to see what he can do."
In the meantime, the Sox will see what they can do to buy Schilling a little more time. That will require some immediate victories.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.