→ ‘Intangibles’ give Gomes nod in LF

By any statistical measure, Daniel Nava should be drawing the start in left field for the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS Tuesday afternoon. The switch-hitting Nava has a slash line of .322/.411/.484/.894 against right-handed pitchers. He has faced Game 3 starter Justin Verlander just once, but hit a three-run double and drew a walk in four plate appearances. That was in Fenway Park on May 29, 2012.

The right-handed hitting Gomes, meanwhile, has a slash line of .258/.341/.404/.745 vs. right-handed pitchers. He has 13 plate appearances in his career against Verlander. He is 0 for 9 with 3 walks and a sacrifice fly.

Decisions like this make me nervous. The right decision, without looking at outcomes, is to play Nava. Of course, everyone will evaluate Farrell’s decision based on how well Gomes plays tonight.