The Red Sox are out to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the 2013 World Series Wednesday night as they send John Lackey to the hill to face St. Louis phenom Michael Wacha.
Boston Red Sox (1-0)
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Shane Victorino, RF
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Mike Napoli, 1B
- Jonny Gomes, LF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Stephen Drew, SS
- Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Starting Pitcher -- John Lackey
St. Louis Cardinals (0-1)
- Matt Carpenter, 2B
- Carlos Beltran, RF
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Matt Adams, 1B
- Yadier Molina, C
- Allen Craig, DH
- David Freese, 3B
- Jon Jay, CF
- Daniel Descalso, SS
Starting Pitcher -- Michael Wacha
If Daniel Nava had not gotten an at bat last night, I feel like we could all just keep on keeping on. Jonny Gomes hasn't been the correct choice against all these righties. Not in Game 6 when he doubled, or in all those other games where the best he'd managed is an infield single, however important. But John Farrell wasn't going to mess with team success despite individual failure, so Gomes was what we were going to get.
But Nava did come into last night's game. And he doubled. Because that's what Nava does against righties. That double standing in stark contrast to Gomes' 0-for-3 at the plate--a performance which drove his postseason OPS down to .483, exactly 400 points below Nava's. And so hope was born anew. Hope that maybe Farrell would see fit to give Nava the start not just in St. Louis, but tonight as well.
Nope, still Gomes. And no, Michael Wacha's splits in 300 plate appearances, however pronounced, don't provide much convincing. Lefties haven't hit him, but that's not a significant enough sample size to tell the story on him. He even allowed more to lefties in a slightly larger sample down in the minors this year.
It is what it is. It's just one batter of nine, and not likely to completely alter the course of this game. But it's still expected value left on the table when the stakes are the highest they can be. And that doesn't sit well.
Read more Red Sox:
- This is it: An oral history of the Red Sox' season so far
- Xander Bogaerts: The next Red Sox superstar
- Xander Bogaerts, Michael Wacha prove the future is now
- With Jose Dariel Abreu gone, will the Red Sox stick with Mike Napoli?
- The history of Red Sox - Cardinals World Series