BOSTON -- The last time the Red Sox reached the World Series, they had a September callup named Jacoby Ellsbury, who suddenly became a cornerstone player at the most important time of year.
Ellsbury got hot at the right time, and the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies.
Six years later, he is the established veteran in center field who has admired the way top prospect Xander Bogaerts -- promoted to the Major Leagues on Aug. 19 -- has played his way into a starting spot.
Manager John Farrell put Bogaerts in the starting lineup at third base for the first time in this postseason for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. In 2007, Ellsbury took over for Coco Crisp beginning with Game 6 of the ALCS.
"Bogaerts, he's done a tremendous job getting thrown into a big environment like he has," Ellsbury said. "He's done tremendously. I know he's had some big at-bats for us where he's drawn walks, had some big hits. He's mature beyond his years."
Perhaps it's easier for Ellsbury to appreciate now what he did in that same situation in 2007? At the time, he felt like he was just doing his job.
"In 2007, everything happened so quick. I got called up, got put on the postseason roster and won a World Series," Ellsbury said. "Everything happened so fast. This year, I think, it's so hard. No matter how quality of a team you have, it is tough to get to this point. I think this year, I'm definitely enjoying it, slowing it down a little bit and definitely enjoying the whole process a little more."
Lackey reclaims No. 2 spot in rotation
BOSTON -- John Lackey's gem in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series has not been forgotten by Red Sox manager John Farrell. The veteran righty will move back to the No. 2 spot in the rotation for the World Series and will pitch on Thursday (airing at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX/8:07 first pitch) at Fenway against the Cardinals.
In the AL Division Series, Lackey pitched Game 2 and defeated Rays ace David Price. Lackey topped Tigers star righty Justin Verlander in his lone ALCS start. In Game 2 of the Fall Classic, Lackey will start opposite rookie phenom Michael Wacha.
Jon Lester is again the Game 1 starter, as Farrell announced Monday.
Interestingly, Farrell wasn't ready to reveal the order of his Game 3 and 4 pitchers, but he confirmed it will be Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy in some order.
His sparkling outing in Detroit aside, Lackey has typically pitched much better at Fenway this season than on the road.
What was the biggest reason Farrell moved him back ahead of Buchholz in the rotation?
"The way John came out of his game over in Detroit, and not allowing too many days of rest to get away from that previous start of his," said Farrell. "So that's the primary reason to get John back in there in Game 2."
The Red Sox will keep their 25-man roster the same as it was in the previous two rounds, carrying 14 position players and 11 pitchers.
Sox hitters won't rush against quick-moving Cardinals
BOSTON -- Don't expect to sit down for a World Series game and be in bed three hours later.
Just because the quick-moving, strike-throwing Cardinals make up half the World Series tandem, quicker games aren't guaranteed. At least Red Sox hitters aren't preparing to move any quicker than they normally do.
"They're going to do whatever they need to do," said Boston hitting coach Greg Colbrunn. "The biggest thing is for the hitter not to feel rushed at the plate."
In Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Oct. 12, the Cardinals shut out the Dodgers, 1-0. The game took two hours, 40 minutes.
Later that day, the Tigers shut out the Red Sox, 1-0, in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. The game took three hours, 56 minutes.
The difference was almost 80 minutes. While the AL games tend to move a little slower, the Red Sox's patient approach -- while in the batters' box or standing beside it -- has provided some long affairs.
"I don't think we go out on purpose trying to have a 3 1/2-hour game," Colbrunn said. "The game dictates it."
Cardinal pitchers have developed the stereotype of spending little time between pitches and moving the game along with some speed, but the Red Sox may not let them.
"You get in there and the pitcher is going [quickly], you have that ability [to step out]," Colbrunn said. "Do you do it on purpose sometimes? Maybe, maybe not. The goal is to not feel rushed."
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.