Farrell: Will 'probably lead off with Lester'

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell stopped short of finalizing his rotation for the American League Championship Series, saying only that he’ll “probably lead off with [Jon] Lester.”

“After we go from there, I think we’ll take a look at things as we move forward,” Farrell said Wednesday afternoon in his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI.

After wrapping up the ALDS with the Rays Tuesday night in Game 4, the celebrating Red Sox arrived back in Boston around 5:45 a.m., Farrell said. They will open the ALCS on Saturday at Fenway, facing the winner of Thursday night’s Game 5 between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics.

“We’ll probably take a look at all things once it’s determined,” Farrell said. “We’ve got another day or so to figure out who it’s going to be, either Oakland or Detroit.”

The Red Sox started Lester in Game 1 of the ALDS, followed by John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy. Lackey’s home-road splits (2.47 ERA at Fenway, 4.48 ERA on the road) were a “major factor” in why he started Game 2 at Fenway as opposed to Game 3 in Tampa Bay, Farrell said last week.

WEEI host Michael Holley pointed out that Lackey has had success in Oakland in the past (6-3 record and a 2.83 ERA in 18 appearances) and asked Farrell whether that would play a factor in where and when he starts Lackey in the ALCS should the A’s advance.

“Those are all the normal things we’ll take into this,” Farrell said. “I think every guy threw the ball as expected in the games in which they started [in the ALDS]. It’s not like someone came out of an outing that we’ve got to take a look at the performance.”

During the interview (click HERE to listen), Farrell also reflected on the way Rays manager Joe Maddon managed his pitching staff in Game 4 -- “Last night was a really unique game, considering the number of pitchers we had to face” -- and some strategic decisions he made in the final two games of the ALDS.