Drew (lower back strain) "sent balls screaming into the Fenway stands" and Terry Francona "seemed optimistic about his progress".
Lowell (partially torn labrum in right hip) was also upbeat:
It's never really bothered me to swing, so today was kind of just to get into the flow of the game. Tomorrow [Tuesday] will be a big day, because I'll be taking ground balls and seeing how that goes.Francona is first Red Sox manager to last five consecutive years in 61 years and only the third in franchise history (Jimmy Collins, 1901-05; Joe Cronin, 1935-47). The Playoff Assassin loves October.
These games are so much fun. There's anxiety, there's nervousness, there's some tension. But I love it. ... I like who I'm doing it with. ... Trying to win with this group is fun for me.David Ortiz:
Tito gives me tons of confidence. There's not one day I don't feel like playing for Tito. I can be dying, and when I come [talk] to Tito, all I think about is, "I've got to play for this guy, no matter what." He fills you with that.The ProJo has a lot of quotes from Tito's Monday press conference.
Justin Masterson (2.36 ERA in 34.1 innings, with 29 strikeouts) has anchored the bullpen. Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, and Hideki Okajima have combined to allow only three earned runs in their last 48 innings (0.56 ERA).
Beckett has a 1.73 ERA in 10 post-season games (72.2 innings). He will play catch today and throw a side session on Thursday. He is scheduled to pitch Game 3 on Sunday.
We love what Beckett can do -- we respect what Beckett can do. I think we're starting to get the same feeling about Lester.For the second time in three months, Lester was named AL Pitcher of the Month. He won the award in July and was announced as the winner for September (2.14 ERA in five starts).
ESPN Picks: Six of 10 pick the Angels. Everyone expects the series to go at least four games, with eight of the ten writers saying it'll go five. ... Fox's Ken Rosenthal says he was ready to pick the Red Sox until the Beckett oblique story broke. Now he says Angels in 5.
Boston does not have to submit its ALDS roster until 10 AM (West Coast time) on Wednesday, but we know that David Aardsma will not be on it. He will work out in Fort Myers in case he's needed for the ALCS. ... The Globe has posted hit and pitch zones and spray charts from Inside Edge.