I'm writing this after the fifth inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. Oddly, this is the second straight game in which the Red Sox have gone without a hit in the first five innings. Here's a lot more about Game 1; now I want to mention something strange about the Red Sox' Game 2 lineup. Here, let's let Zachary Levine get us started:
He could hit a game-winning 5-run homer in his next at-bat, and I'll still have no idea what Jonny Gomes was doing in this starting lineup.— Zachary Levine (@zacharylevine) October 14, 2013
Same here. Maybe John Farrell will explain this after the game?
Max Scherzer is a really, really tough right-handed pitcher. Super-tough. In his long career, Jonny Gomes has a .225/.310/.423 line against right-handed pitchers. That's actually not so bad for a right-handed hitter like Gomes. But Gomes is playing instead of switch-hitter Daniel Nava, and Nava's .292/.390/.443 against righties in his career.
My guess is that Farrell doesn't want to bench Gomes completely. And with the Tigers using four right-handed starting pitchers, he just had to pick one of them. And maybe the Red Sox' analysts have something that says Scherzer is the righty starter who's most susceptible to Gomes. Or the least susceptible to Nava.
Maybe Farrell will explain it. Although if this game doesn't take a radical turn, he might not be in such a great mood.