Sometimes in baseball things have a way of working themselves out, and that has been the case on numerous occasions for the 2013 Boston Red Sox. Hours before Game 4 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night, Shane Victorino decided he would not be able to play due to tightness in his back. Daniel Nava got the start in right and Jonny Gomes started in left.
Had Victorino been healthy enough to play, he would have started in right and Nava in left. That would have made Gomes the odd man out and kept him on the bench as a pinch hitter. Who knows how the Red Sox would have made out without Gomes’ go-ahead homerun off Seth Maness in the 6th inning.
Gomes’ blast proved to be the game-winner. It also happened to be his first hit of the series — he was 0-for-9 when he came to the plate in the 6th. We have no way of knowing if the situation would have been entirely different if Victorino played. Maybe Victorino would have hit a homer of his own and played the role of hero yet again. Whatever the case, the Sox are glad Gomes was in the lineup. A proven winner who is seen more for his value as a clubhouse presence, Gomes had been waiting for that moment his entire career.
“The one thing I’ve always wanted out of this game was the opportunity, whether that was a uniform, whether that was a pinch hit, whether that was to get a start,” Gomes said after the win. “So, I got the opportunity tonight, and one thing you can guarantee is when I’m in the lineup I’m going to be swinging. And I was fortunate enough right there to put a good swing on a good pitch.”
Mission accomplished. The Red Sox overcame a “fatigued” Clay Buchholz who gave them four quality innings after being seemingly destined for failure. As a result, they have guaranteed themselves a return trip to Fenway Park.Google+