Last night's performance was pretty tough to watch, especially from a defensive stand point. For the 2nd time in the World Series, errors proved costly. This time, though, it was the Red Sox making the errors. And John Lackey suffered from "Lackey-itis." Again. Which was frustrating after he pitched so well. I think it's fair to say that it's time to start looking ahead to what changes the Red Sox need to make in game 3 tomorrow.
Daniel Nava for Jonny Gomes: Jonny Gomes is 5-32 in this postseason with 2 doubles and 2 RBI's according to ESPN. His lone 2 RBI's came all the way back in game 1 of the ALDS against Tampa Bay, so his production on offense has been lacking. His defense has been solid, but he misfired on the play that cost the team the game. He also missed the guy 2/3 of the way off 2nd base that he could have doubled off to get out of the inning without any runs. With Nava, you get better offensive production. True, a smaller sample size, but still a .308 average in the postseason according to ESPN. Plus, Gomes is much better as a pinch hitter. David Ross for Jarrod Saltalamacchia: Salty bears some blame in the fiasco that was last night. Not on the double steal because that was a terrible pitch by Craig Breslow, but he should have come off the plate to block the ball. Breslow's throw down to third was still a stupid play so he gets some of the blame as well, but a lot of it falls on Salty for not playing the ball. Plus he hasn't done anything on offense. 6-29 for a .207 average, 17 K's and 2 walks and 5 RBI's according to ESPN. That K to walk ration is what is really concerning to me. That's why he should give way to David Ross - we can't have him coming up in a big situation with that K to walk ratio.
David Ortiz starts over Mike Napoli: This isn't really a change, per se, and this isn't meant to disrespect Napoli, but there is absolutely no way we can afford to sit Big Papi going into St. Louis. Mike Napoli has come up with some big hits of late, but I think Papi gets the start. If we're up late, then you take out Papi for the better defense, but Papi's bat needs to be in the line up. Plus, Papi didn't make an error in 37 tries in NL parks this year, so that's not that bad. Plus he did OK in the past 2 World Series.
I thought about mentioning Stephen Drew, but at this point, I have to bow to Red Sox Life's own Jim Monaghan's wisdom and say keep him in there. This has nothing to do with his bat and everything to do with his defense. Given how this series has swung back and forth on bad defense, I think having 2 steady hands in Dustin Pedroia and Drew will be a huge plus. Not to mention the quality of St. Louis starting pitching dips dramatically in the next 2 games and we've already thrashed Adam Wainwright, who we'll face in game 5. I think Drew's defense will be key going forward.
Thoughts? Hit me up on Twitter (@ConorJF1016) or leave a comment.