Red Sox ALCS Game 3 lineup vs. Justin Verlander: Jonny Gomes starts, Daniel Nava sits

October 15, 2013 - 9:17 am
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DETROIT -- John Farrell suggested on Monday that the Red Sox might include Jonny Gomes in their Game 3 lineup against Tigers starter Justin Verlander based on "the intangibles" that Gomes brings to the field. On Tuesday, he's opted to do just that, with Gomes batting seventh and playing left field and Daniel Nava sitting. On paper, the move comes as a surprise, given that Gomes is 0-for-9 (with three walks and three strikeouts) against Verlander while Nava is 1-for-3 with a memorable double on a 100 mph fastball, one walk and one strikeout. However, in a season in which Verlander's most important pitch has been his changeup, the right-hander has held lefties to a .237/.307/.351 line; righties have hit .275/.327/.412 against him, a departure from his career prior to 2013, in which his splits were better against righties. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox have enjoyed little success against one of the best pitchers of the past decade. Along with Gomes, Dustin Pedroia has endured particularly pointed struggles against Verlander, going 1-for-18 with a single, a walk and three strikeouts. At the other end of the spectrum, David Ortiz hit .370/.433/.741 with two homers in 30 career plate appearances against Verlander. Rob Bradford offers an explanation for the disparity in this guide at how to beat Verlander. Jarrod Saltlamacchia, who delivered the walkoff single in Game 2, is back behind the plate as the catcher for John Lackey in Game 3. Lackey is 6-3 with a 3.86 ERA in his career against the Tigers. Though he was 0-1 against them in two starts this year, he had a 3.14 ERA with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 14 1/3 innings. For complete batter vs. starting pitcher matchup histories, click here. For comprehensive Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox. RED SOX LINEUP Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Shane Victorino, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Mike Napoli, 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Jonny Gomes, LF Stephen Drew, SS Will Middlebrooks, 3B John Lackey, SP

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