BOSTON -- The door is still open for Curt Schilling to pitch again this season. Following Schilling's side session on Friday, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that one factor would be how the ace's right ankle responded the next day.
So far, so good.
"I think he's having the usual after-throwing soreness," said Francona. "Nothing more and not much less. He wasn't supposed to do anything today. There's nothing to do today but rest."
As for Sunday?
"We'll see how he feels," said Francona. "That's up to [pitching coach Dave Wallace] and the medical people, what he does today or the next day."
Francona said matter-of-factly on Thursday that Schilling wouldn't pitch Game 5. But that was before the rainout on Friday pushed Game 5 to Monday. The chance remains slight that Schilling would return that soon, but Francona did not summarily dismiss the possibility.
"Derek [Lowe] is gonna pitch Game 5, most likely," said Francona. "Again, we don't have to announce this stuff so we really don't need to, but in Schilling's case, we've kind of been adamant that when he pitches, he'll be healthy enough where he doesn't hurt himself and he'll be able to be productive."
During Schilling's side session on Friday, he worked out with a high-top sneaker that Reebok sent to him.
While the high-top did what Schilling wanted in terms of supporting his ankle, it was a little too small for his toes. A new pair of shoes were en route to Fenway, but Francona wasn't sure if they had arrived yet.
"For all of the publicity [Reebok] is getting, they ought to be able to get the right size," quipped Francona.
Schilling is taking things in stride.
"We're just trying to get to a point where I can get out there and pitch and compete with the stuff that I have, and I was encouraged," Schilling told FOX's Chris Myers.
With scheduled Game 4 starter Tim Wakefield being forced into bullpen duty during Game 3, there's a chance Lowe will have to pitch a game earlier than expected. As for where Schilling fits in, he was uncomfortable speculating given his team's current predicament. They trailed the best-of-seven series 2-0 entering Saturday's game.
"We're not going there," Schilling said to Myers. "You know, we're down, 2-0. There might not be a Game 5 if we don't find a way to start playing right."
Orlando Cabrera / SS
Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Cabrera on big stage: In a scene he never could have imagined a few months ago when he was with the Expos, Red Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera had a press conference with the national media before Saturday's game.
He is enjoying his first playoff experience.
"Everything is important," said Cabrera. "You know, every pitch, every move, every sign. You can't let anything go by you without knowing. You have to be focused the whole entire game, even on the bench. And it's exciting, it's a good feeling. It's something that drives you all through the 162 games every year just to get there."
Jeter used to the big stage: It wasn't strange at all to see the other shortstop have a press conference before the game. Derek Jeter is a household name, in large part because of what he's done in October.
Jeter probably leads the Yankees in abuse taken by Red Sox fans. But that doesn't make his visits to Fenway Park any less enjoyable.
"The atmosphere makes it fun, regardless of the kind of things that they might say," said Jeter. "They are pretty passionate about their team. It makes it fun. Sometimes the fans take it a little too serious away from the field, but it's fun. It's fun to play here."
Different day, same attitude: Sitting around for the last couple of days without a game would leave some teams climbing the walls. But Francona didn't see his players acting any different than usual.
"Our clubhouse is never really that tame," said Francona. "They are the same. We just haven't played a game. They showed up at the same time today ready to go. They are always the same."
NFL at Fenway: The day before their live broadcast from Foxboro Stadium for the Patriots-Seahawks game, FOX commentators Jimmy Johnson, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and James Brown roamed the Fenway sod during bating practice.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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