Ben Cherington on D&C: 'In the end, they got the call right'

October 24, 2013 - 6:40 am
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the Red Sox' 8-1 victory over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series. The Sox capitalized early, scoring five runs in the first two innings against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. Boston took advantage of several Cardinals miscues, as St. Louis committed three errors in the game. "Well, it was a good outcome. I thought we had a really good approach against Wainwright, whose a fantastic pitcher, particularly the middle of the order," Cherington said. "Obviously Lester back it up and pitched terrifically, so it was a good start and we know the Cardinals are a really good team and I'm sure we'll have another tough test tonight." Perhaps the biggest turning point in the game happened in the first inning, as the umpires convened and overturned a ruling by Dana DeMuth that Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma lost a potential double-play ball on the exchange, giving the Cardinals an out at second. The ruling that the runner was safe would be huge, as Mike Napoli responded in the ensuing at-bat with a bases-clearing double that gave the Sox a 3-0 lead. "It seems to me like the most important thing in a game like this is to make sure as much on the field goes as right as possible and is as fair as possible,"Cherington said. "In the end, they got the call right and I think the umpires should be commended for that. It's also pretty clear that Major League Baseball, it's what they want to have happen and in the future, there will more of a formal mechanism in place for it to happen, but credit the umpires for taking it upon themselves last night to make sure the call was right." Sox manager John Farrell made the call to go with Jonny Gomes in left field over Daniel Nava once again. Despite the fact that Nava has put together better numbers this season, including a .303 batting average (eighth in the AL) and a .385 OBP, Boston has performed much better with Gomes in the lineup this postseason -- a 7-0 record. "Jonny Gomes helps us win. Most of the time that he's in there, [he] helps us win in a lot of different ways, and sometimes it's his bat, sometimes it's with the defense, sometimes it's with a smart play," Cherington said. "We know that we have basically two left fielders that have helped us all year and I think you'll see Nava in there before the series is over. John is just trying to use both guys and find the best matchups to use both guys. ... If you just went strictly by the numbers, I suppose Nava would be in there all the time and I think John just feels like what's best for the team is to still use both, because both guys were so instrumental in getting us to this point, so I think you will see both over the course of the series." Following are more highlights from the conversation. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at On the Cardinals' potential loss of Carlos Beltran after he was listed as day-to-day with a rib injury: "He's a very good player, he's got a postseason track record, even though it's not a World Series track record. ... He's just a very smart hitter, both sides of the plate.Very dangerous. You saw that he's very capable defensively, still throws well. He does a lot of thing well. He can change a game quickly with his bat." On Jon Lester's strong start (7 2/3 innings, 5 hits, o runs, 8 strikeouts) in Game 1: I thought he and [David] Ross really executed the plan. They mixed it up, he had his curveball in the mix early. He had a good cutter, he stayed away from one spot, I thought he moved around well. ... It was just a good complete effort and a really good job by Lester and a nice assist by Ross with some game-calling. ... He's really stepped up, and he's been a horse for us." On whether Clay Buchholz's physical situation is fatigue or something more serious: "Yeah, that may be a decent comparison. We have 11 active pitchers on the roster and John [Farrell] is trying to put those 11 pitchers in the best possible provision to be successful and help us win. So he's trying to manage that in a way where guys are as strong as possible. ... In Clay's case, he misses a big chunk of the season, as you know. He sort of had the equivalent of a full offseason in the middle of the season with the time that he was down, and when you do that and come back, you just haven't built up the strength and stamina the way the other starters will have during this time of the year."