World Series: John Farrell managerial highs and lows Game 1
Even before this World Series had started, Red Sox manager John Farrell had made a pair of personnel decisions that demanded explanaton and analysis.
First was the decision to push back ALCS Game 2 starter Clay Buchholz to the weekend in St. Louis, either Game 3-4. Instead, the Sox will send John Lackey to the mound for Game 2, Thursday and, in no particular order, indicated he will have Buchholz and Jake Peavy on the weekend.
Buchholz has missed significant time during the season and in three post-season starts had averaged just 5.2 innings, including a quick hook in Game 6 of the ALCS agaist the Tigers. The move had led to speculation he was hurt, supported by the fact that lefthander Felix Doubront had thrown to live hitters, including John McDonald, on Tuesday's workout day.
"We have yet to determine whether Peavy is in Game 4 or Game 3," Farrell said. "Some of that will be determined on how we see the style of John Lackey go up against this team tomorrow night."
Translated that probably means that since the Game 3 starter also is on schedule to pitch Game 7 on regular rest, that Farrell is weighing whether he wants the battle-hardened veteran Peavy on the hill for the ultimate game. In that case, look for Peavy in Game 3.
The second managerial decision was to start the righthanded hitting Jonny Gomes in left field over the switch-hitting Daniel Nava, even though Nava is a better defender and Gomes enters the Series with a .539 OPS.
"With (Adam) Wainright and (Michael) Wacha, there's not the left-right splits as there might be with (Lance) Lynn and (Joe) Kelly," Farrell said. "Jonny has done an excellent job in the times that he started, evident by the way that we've performed as a team, but I can't single him out as a reason why."
That didn't really answer the question, although Farrell suggested that Gomes can handle left field at Fenway Park better than at Busch Stadium.
1-Farrell raced out immediately to argue the first inning call by Dana DeMuth awarding an out to Pete Kozma on the force at second base. The veteran ump claimed it was dropped on the transfer, but Farrell argued and clearly he was right. The umpires huddled and crew chief John Hirschbeck overturned the call. Mike Napoli followed with a three-run double.
2-While playing an exagerrated infield shift against Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams, the outfield played straight up and Adams line drive in the fifth was gobbled up by a diving Jonny Gomes in left field. Unlike how Brian Butterfield shifted his infield in Toronto with Brett Lawrie in short right field, the Red Sox kept third baseman Xander Bogaerts on the left side of the infield. The move paid off in the seventh when Adams hit a rocket to short that Bogaerts made an easy play on.