On the eve of his start in Game 2 of the World Series on Sunday night, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had stitches placed on both sides of his right ankle in order to stabilize the tendons in that area, the same procedure he used prior to pitching in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
Schilling said the procedure went well and was less painful than when he did it prior to his outing against the New York Yankees, when he allowed one run on four hits in seven innings.
"Well, as far as pain goes, I'm not feeling anything right now," he said. "We were not as rushed today as the first time we did it."
Schilling said he expects the St. Louis Cardinals to bunt on him to test the ankle, something the Yankees did not do.
"Oh, they will," he said. "Absolutely. I expect them to bunt. I expect them to try to get me to move off the mound, which we've gotten ready for."
Boston Manager Terry Francona said he is trying not to get too many details about Schilling's unusual and possibly painful preparation, but believes Schilling can provide a strong outing.
"There's not too much I ask him," Francona said. "He's going to pitch. Whether he's in pain or not, it's up to him to handle it. I'm very confident he will handle it. . . . So sometimes, I'm not sure there really needs to be a whole lot said."
Roster Moves Complete
The teams finalized their rosters prior to Game 1. Perhaps the biggest move was the removal of St. Louis left-handed reliever Steve Kline, who was limited to one appearance in the National League Championship Series because of an injury to his left index finger. Kline, who limited left-handed hitters to a .143 average in the regular season, was expected to be a weapon for Manager Tony La Russa against David Ortiz. The Boston slugger hit 76 points lower against left-handers as compared with right-handers in the regular season.
"I feel worse for Steve than I do for us because we're going to make the adjustments to compensate and still find a way to win," La Russa said.
The Cardinals decided to add reliever Al Reyes to the roster rather than pitcher Chris Carpenter, who led all Cardinals starters with a 3.46 ERA. Carpenter, who missed the first two rounds of the playoffs with a right biceps injury, was deemed not healthy. The Cardinals had hoped Carpenter could contribute as a reliever.
La Russa said after conferring with pitching coach Dave Duncan that Carpenter was cleared to throw 50 to 60 pitches, including 30 warmups. But they didn't want to risk further injury.
"Even though there's a question of how effective he would be, Dave and I both come down to the side that we could never forgive ourselves to send him out there. He's been inadequately prepared physically."
For Boston, third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was not on the ALCS roster, was added and pitcher Ramiro Mendoza was taken off.
"The thinking was that with Derek Lowe being available [Saturday and Sunday] in the bullpen and Bronson Arroyo the whole time, two guys that are really stretched out and durable," Francona said. "We could take advantage of having the extra position player, especially when we go to the National League city."
Cards' Morris Moved Up
The Cardinals rethought their starting rotation and decided to move up pitcher Matt Morris to Game 2. Morris, who will pitch on just three days' rest, had told several reporters he was going to pitch Game 3 in St. Louis. Morris, who was 15-11 with a 4.77 ERA in the regular season, joked the last time he had pitched on short rest was in a Whiffle Ball game when he was 10.
"There's nothing to rest for," Morris said. "This is the whole point. It's all or nothing right now. I'm not saving myself for anything. I don't know what to expect, but I expect that I'm going to go out and make pitches."