Why Jonny Gomes didn't take any pitches Saturday (and how it paid off)

Rob Bradford
May 03, 2014 - 2:31 pm

Jonny Gomes went in with a plan Saturday, and it paid off right out of the gate. The Red Sox'€™ outfielder went into his team'€™s game with the A'€™s with the idea to swing at everything near the plate. The immediate result was striking '€“ a first-pitch, first-inning grand slam coming off a Tommy Millone curveball. By day'€™s end the Red Sox had a 6-3 win '€“ thanks in large part to the big blow by the left fielder '€“ and Gomes had offered at every one of the eight pitches he saw, putting the ball in play in each of his first three at-bats. '€œFrom playing over there, [A'€™s pitching coach] Curt Young, [A'€™s manager] Bob Melvin, those guys are strike-throwers '€¦ It kind of comes with the motto of pitching in their ballpark,'€ said Gomes, who played with Oakland in 2012. '€œI just wanted to be aggressive early and aggressive throughout the whole game. I swung at every single pitch I saw today, but they were all strikes. I just wanted to be aggressive on strikes early and they came right after me like I they do with everyone.'€ As for the home run '€“ his fifth career grand slam '€“ Gomes also had yet another method to his madness when jumping on the first pitch he saw. '€œFirst-pitch curveball. Runner on third, less than two outs, just looking for something with the bottom half of the ball that I can elevate,'€ he said. '€œWorst case sacrifice fly, best case it goes out.'€ Gomes has churned out some positive results of late, particularly against lefties. In his last seven games he has gone 5-for-13 vs. left-handers, totaling a 1.269 OPS. Still, with Shane Victorino back in the lineup, he understands the reality that comes with primarily sharing time with Grady Sizemore in left field. '€œThat would be nice but that'€™s not really my role,'€ said Gomes when asked if he felt like he was starting to get on a role. '€œI could play a couple of days in a row and have quite a few off, and then play quite a few days in a row and have quite a few off. It'€™s kind of hard to get in a rhythm. It'€™s hard to come out of a rut. It'€™s just living pitch to pitch.'€