Wednesday, April 23, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Jonny Gomes came to Boston as a backup outfielder with suspect defense. But with the Red Sox he’s shown his ability in the clutch.
• Mike Napoli. He is second to David Ortiz in home runs and RBI (23/95). His .842 OPS is 39 points higher than a better-known first baseman (Adrian Gonzalez). Napoli also helps drive up opposing pitchers' pitch counts, leading the league in seeing 4.59 pitches per plate appearance.
• Jonny Gomes. One of the team's leaders in the clubhouse. His defense has been better than expected. Has a .771 OPS and is a valuable clutch hitter (four pinch-hit home runs).
• Koji Uehara. The savior of the bullpen. When other closers went down with injuries. Uehara stepped in, recorded 21 saves, a 1.09 ERA, 101 strikeouts and only nine walks. Enthusiastic and emotional, he is a clubhouse favorite.
• Mike Carp. This is the one player Farrell will admit to being a surprise. Put on waivers by Seattle, the Red Sox picked him up with little fanfare. When the season opened, Carp sat the bench for a week. But now his contributions are invaluable (.296 average, .885 OPS) as a left fielder/first baseman/pinch-hitter.
Carp, like the others, has fit right in with a clubhouse that already had a core group of veterans to build on, including Pedroia and Ortiz.
They are BASEBALL PLAYERS.
"They show the young guys how to do it," Butterfield said. "There's one concern in that clubhouse and that's getting ready for the next game."
Next game: Friday night at Fenway Park, Game 1 of the American League division series.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: