BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia waited six years before getting his first Major League full-time starting catcher job in 2012. He had no problem being a little extra patient before making his first World Series start.
Saltalamacchia took a seat on the bench for the Red Sox's 8-1 win over the Cardinals in Game 1 on Wednesday, as David Ross earned the start with Jon Lester on the mound. Ross has caught Lester's last three postseason starts and the team wants to stick with what's working.
Saltalamacchia, who was in the lineup, batting seventh for Game 2 on Thursday, said he had absolutely no problem with the team's decision to start Ross in Game 1.
"I want to win," Saltalamacchia said. "He's been doing a great job with Jonny. He showed it against Detroit. In order for us to win, we all have to contribute. Him playing is obviously a plus to us."
When Ross was healthy during the regular season, Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter, had been getting the nods against most right-handed pitchers while Ross got the start against lefties. But Ross has become more of Lester's personal catcher in the playoffs, delaying Saltalamacchia's first World Series start.
"If we're talking about the regular season," said manager John Farrell, "I wouldn't go down the path of assigning one catcher to a specific pitcher."
Saltalamacchia, who was catching John Lackey in Game 2, is seeing a lot of his own hard work come to fruition. When he was traded to the team in the middle of the 2010 season, he had to learn the entire pitching staff. After the struggles the team went through in '12, Saltalamacchia has played a big role in the pitching turnaround in '13.
"I was with these guys through the pains of trying to get the mechanics down, trying to grind through some guys who had a bad year basically," he said. "I've learned a lot."
Sox tab Peavy for Game 3, Buchholz in Game 4
BOSTON -- After days of speculation, Jake Peavy officially leapfrogged Clay Buchholz in the World Series rotation.
When the Fall Classic shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday night, Peavy will take the ball.
Buchholz, who has been dealing with right shoulder fatigue, gets Game 4.
That means that Peavy would likely pitch Game 7 if the series goes the distance. Peavy had been Boston's Game 4 starter in the American League Division Series and Championship Series.
"After he got through his work yesterday, I felt like the overriding thing was an additional day of rest for him," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Buchholz. "He's going to go Sunday."
During an in-game interview with FOX, Peavy said pitching in the Fall Classic was a "dream come true."
"I started playing this game as a little boy, and I've played for 12 years professionally at the highest level and never had this opportunity," said Peavy. "It's something I'll cherish Saturday night, but it's about business and finding a way to win."
In Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, Peavy allowed the Tigers seven runs on five hits over three-plus innings.
"I had trouble just making some adjustments, but we got to work over the last few days, and I feel comfortable going into Saturday night," said Peavy. "No reason I shouldn't execute pitches and be ready to go find a way to win."
If, for some reason, Buchholz doesn't respond and needs to be scratched, the Red Sox have two potential replacements in Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster, who were in the rotation for most of the season.
However, Farrell fully expects Buchholz will be a go.
"It depends on who's used the next two nights," Farrell said. "We know that we've got multiple guys down there who can go multiple innings. Dempster being one, Doubront another. If we have to piece it together, we'll adjust accordingly. To say that we're going to have a guy standing there to warm up alongside of Clay, that won't happen."
Farrell surprised, relieved call was overturned
BOSTON -- When Red Sox manager John Farrell finished pleading his case with the umpires after the initial missed call at second base in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday, he figured it would stand.
Until expanded replay gets implemented, which is expected to be next season, the human element is most often the deciding factor.
"Honestly, I was a little surprised that it was changed last night, because typically you don't see that happen," Farrell said. "Thankfully they did."
There is precedence in Red Sox postseason history for call reversals. In Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, Mark Bellhorn hit a ball into the stands that bounced off of a fan and back into play. It was initially ruled a ground-rule double before the umpires changed it. Later in that game, Alex Rodriguez chopped the ball out of pitcher Bronson Arroyo's hand and was originally credited with reaching first and advancing to second on an error. But that call was also overturned after the umpires huddled.
Next season, things will likely become more clear cut with the new replay system.
The teamwork that the umpires used in correcting second-base umpire Dana DeMuth's missed call is something Farrell appreciated.
"I think there's more of an acceptance to set aside your decision making to, 'Hey, let's see if someone saw this differently.' And just talking to umpires, they want the right thing to be done as well," Farrell said. "In this case, it took them to get together. Yeah, it has evolved and I think there's been a lot of publicity drawn to calls that have been made that might have been [missed]. Maybe if this approach was taken, maybe the right one would have been had in those previous moments as well."
Playing through injury, no complaints from Pedroia
BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia's nine home runs this season represent his lowest total since his rookie season of 2007. And he hasn't hit any in the postseason.
The reason for the drop in power is obvious. On Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, Pedroia suffered a tear of the UCL in his left thumb.
Instead of opting for rest or surgery, Pedroia gained admiration from his team by playing through the injury all year.
In typical Pedroia fashion, he has no regrets -- except for the way the injury happened.
"It's one of those things, I did it to myself, I slid headfirst into first," Pedroia said. "I don't think I'll ever do that again."
Pedroia still managed to play in 160 games this season, a career high. He hit .301 with a .372 on-base percentage while playing stellar defense.
"It was a little difficult," Pedroia said of playing through the injury. "Actually in the end, I'm going to look back and it helped me, because I kind of take huge swings in the past trying to hit home runs, and sometimes I get a longer swing than what I normally have, when I just use my hands and stuff like that. So that kind of helped me being short to the ball, making sure I go the other way, not try and pull everything."
In Game 1 of the World Series, Pedroia had two hits.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.