Gomes 1-on-1: So proud of Lackey

Gomes 1-on-1: So proud of Lackey
October 16, 2013, 2:15 am
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The Red Sox squeaked out a 1-0 win over the Tigers on Tuesday, and took a 2-1 series lead in the process.

Jonny Gomes got the start out in left field, and joined the guys on CSNNE's Playoff Central after the game to talk about the win, and especially the dominant performance of John Lackey on the mound.

It's been a long road back to recovery for Lackey, who hit rock bottom with the Sox after a dismal 2011 season and Tommy John surgery that kept him out of the 2012 season. But he's rebounded in a big way this season.

"I'm so proud of this guy, to tell you the truth," Gomes said of Lackey. "I mean, no one wants to obviously get injured. No one wants a season-ending injury. No one wants to get booed off the mound at home. No one wants all that obviously. I think looking at it now, it says so much about the character of John lackey, the work ethic of John Lackey. I mean pretty much not having an offseason by shedding that weight to get back down to his fighting weight. Bulldog mentality, pounding the strike zone all year."

Gomes was one of the surprising starts - in some people's opinion - against Justin Verlander. When asked about his start, and told that he's 0-for-9 against Verlander for his career, Gomes was quick to point out that he's not alone in his struggles, and that he can help the team in plenty of ways.

"Well, yeah I guess I'm 0-for-9 but I'd like you to keep doing your research and see who does have good numbers off that guy," he said. "That guy is over 200 strikeouts a year. The guy has an MVP and a Cy Young. I don't think you're going to find too many good matchups against Verlander. But I'm able to do a couple other things outside of jus hitting. I can run the bases, I can play some defense, I can get some scouting reports and get some other guys going."

A guy that needed to get going was Mike Napoli. And he did. Napoli hit the lone home run of the game, a solo shot to left-center field that proved to be the difference in the game. Napoli had been struggling at the plate before up to that at-bat, and was actually benched for Mike Carp the game before. But manager John Farrell went back to him for Game 3 and the move paid off.

"I don't think you have to stick with Mike Napoli," Gomes said after Lou Merloni used the term "stick". "Mike Napoli is the man. He's going to win a gold glove this year hopefully if they get it right. At the same time, this guy drove in 90, this guy hit over 20 homers again. This guy is a threat. This guy is hitting behind Big Papi, and they haven't intentionally walked Big Papi one time."