Notes: Gomes gets start despite righty Tanaka on mound

Notes: Gomes gets start despite righty Tanaka on mound
April 22, 2014, 5:45 pm
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BOSTON — The Sox elected to go with righthanded-hitting Jonny Gomes in left over switch-hitting Daniel Nava, despite the presence of righty Masahiro Tanaka.     

"I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between lefty and righty with this guy (Tanaka)," said Farrell. "He's a very talented pitcher. Jonny has been putting up a lot of quality at-bats of late. I know the easy target is going to be, 'Why isn't Daniel Nava in this game tonight?' Well, we're trying to get him going offensively and Jonny gives us a little bit more of that right now."
     
Nava, hitting just .149, is just 3-for-22 dating back to last Tuesday.
     
"He's probably swinging the bat a little earlier in counts that we've seen in the past," offered Farrell, "and that might be some reflection of the current level of confidence. When he's squared up some balls, he hasn't seen the fruits of that too much. And like all players, they go through a little bit of peaks and valleys and we're trying to get him out of that right now.
     
"But fundamentally, I can't say it's any one thing that he's breaking down from a swing mechanics standpoint."

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Farrell acknowledged that the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry has cooled some in past seasons, in part because some high-profile stars (Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Manny Ramirez, Jonathan Papelbon, and this year at least, Alex Rodriguez) are gone.
     
"The names have changed," Farrell said. "I think both teams had more stability, year after year or just longer-tenured players on each side, so there might have been tempers that flared because of the history with one another a little bit more in those times.
     
"That's not saying that wouldn't take place now. But I think at field level, it's still the game. Guys are going out to compete and yet it's the stage that both teams play on that makes the rivalry as much as anything."

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Shane Victorino is scheduled to play his third rehab game in Pawtucket Tuesday night and Farrell said that it's possible that the outfielder, sidelined since the weekend before the season opener with a hamstring strain, could be activated in time for Wednesday's game.
     
Will Middlebrooks, meanwhile, played in Pawtucket Monday night, going 0-for-5 in five innings at third base. After an off-night tonight, he'll play again Wednesday and Thursday.


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John Lackey, Wednesday's scheduled starter, has been roughed up in his last two outings after starting with two impressive starts.
     
In his first two starts of the season, Lackey allowed just two earned run in 13 innings. In his last two, meanwhile, he was tagged for 12 earned runs in 11 innings.
     
"I think there's been some things that, as we've sat down with (Lackey) and Juan (Nieves, pitching coach)," said Farrell, "we've seen a couple of things we can adddress or adjust from. We won't get into specifics, but I think there are some things that we've discovered a little bit different from last year.''
     
Farrell said Lackey's arm strength and velocity have been "consistent. Like any pitcher, when a pitch is mislocated, we haven't gotten away with those mistakes. That's part of it that we're looking at. And like I said, there's another thing or two that we're trying to correct."