Going into June, Gomes was hitting .175. His three home runs and 11 RBI weren’t exactly what the Red Sox were expecting when they signed him going into the 2013 season. He was an easy target for fans like myself. After all, Jackie Bradley Jr. was tearing it up in Pawtucket and would have given fans a lot more of a reason to watch every game.
Due to his lack of production Gomes rightfully became a bench player, and Daniel Nava became the everyday outfielder alongside Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino. Nava is one of the greatest Red Sox stories in years. His meteoric rise from being one step away from working at the local bowling alley to a worthy contender for a spot on the AL All-Star team has made him a fan favorite. Gomes meanwhile, continued to be the player that inspired the least confidence in fans.
In the eighth inning of last night’s game Nava came up with runners on second and first and no outs. As long as he could move Dustin Pedroia to third base the Red Sox would be in a position to break the 1-1 tie. Instead he struck out, and the Red Sox were unable to score that inning.
When Gomes came up as a pinch hitter to lead off the ninth inning you could hardly blame Red Sox fans like myself for assuming he would lamely pop out or strike out looking. Instead, with one mighty swing, Gomes put the pitch from Luke Gregerson in the Green Monster. In many other parks it would have been an out, but on this night it made Gomes the hero. So for now my hatred for Jonny has to be put on hold. If he keeps hitting like this though, it will make it a lot harder to go back.