BOSTON — Jon Lester should have spent Thursday basking in the glow of his victory in Game 1 of the World Series. Instead, he spent time explaining a glow — a green, gloppy glow — that appeared on a television view inside his glove.
Lester, the Boston Red Sox ace left-hander, and Manager John Farrell both said prior to Game 2 at Fenway Park that Lester perspires a great deal when he pitches.
“If you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and he needs resin,” Farrell said. Both Lester and Farrell said Lester keeps the substance on his glove not to affect the break or bite of pitches but to dry his hands and grip the ball cleanly. Resin is typically kept in a bag at the back of the pitcher’s mound.
“I know, talking to our own hitters, they want to be sure that a pitcher has got a complete grip of the baseball,” Farrell said. “. . . If a hitter in the batter’s box has a little more comfort knowing the pitcher has a good grip, then maybe they’re a little more at ease as well.”
The issue arose when Tyler Melling, a St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguer, tweeted a picture taken from television that appeared to show something inside Lester’s glove. The substance looked to be green — the one aspect for which no one had an explanation.
“I saw the picture, and I don’t know why that is,” Lester told a huge throng of reporters. “It looks like a giant booger almost. I don’t know how that came about. The lighting, I don’t know how that is.”
Major League Baseball said it had reviewed the film and did not discover a problem. The Cardinals, for their part, had no issue with it.
“Right now it’s pretty much a dead issue,” St. Louis Manager Mike Matheny said.
A day after slamming into the right-field wall at Fenway, Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran was back in the lineup, hitting in his customary second spot for Game 2. Beltran, who bruised his ribs while catching David Ortiz’s shot in the second inning, had to take swings before the game to test the injury.
“A lot of it is going to be how much he can tolerate and if it starts to affect the way he can do his job,” Matheny said. . . .
Right-hander Clay Buchholz, Boston’s projected Game 4 starter, told the Boston Globe he is dealing with tightness in his right shoulder. Still, Farrell said Buchholz is in line to pitch Sunday, which would give him seven days between starts.
“Everything that he’s going through right now is indicating that he will start on Sunday,” Farrell said. “There’s been nothing that has happened since we spoke [Wednesday] here or with Clay that would indicate otherwise.”
That puts Jake Peavy, who is 0-3 with a 10.31 ERA in four career postseason starts, in line to start Saturday’s Game 3.