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Red Sox in Game 3: David Ortiz, Daniel Nava in; Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes out

Oct 25, 2013, 7:25 PM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

National League rules are causing quite the conundrum for the Red Sox. As they’ll be in St. Louis for Games 3, 4, and 5, they will have to watch their pitchers bat rather than utilizing a DH, normally David Ortiz. They must choose one of Ortiz and Mike Napoli, who has been playing first base throughout the post-season. Scott Miller of CBS Sports tweets that the Red Sox have chosen to go with Ortiz at first base while Mike Napoli will ride the bench, at least for Game 3. Ortiz played first base during interleague play, even as recently as September 24-25.

Both Ortiz and Napoli have been their team’s most productive hitters, so this is a bit of a blow. Ortiz owns a .268/.392/.659 line in the 2013 post-season while Napoli is at .225/.326/.475.

Red Sox manager John Farrell will also switch it up in left field, going with Daniel Nava over Jonny Gomes. Nava hasn’t started a post-season game for the Sox since Game 4 of the ALCS against Tigers starter Doug Fister. Gomes got the vote of confidence from Farrell despite facing two right-handed starters. He is hitless in seven trips to the plate in World Series play thus far.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Ortiz made this a pretty easy choice last night. Nava was an obvious one. Having Napoli available off the bench is far from being the worst thing ever.

  2. Stiller43 - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Wish the AL would get rid of that idiotic DH

    • sabatimus - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Wish the NL would take pitcher’s hitting seriously.

      • bfunk1978 - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        Secret option #3: DHes for everyone. I think that might be the best, because 1/9 of your hitters for the first 6+ innings, generally speaking, is an easy out.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        Exactly what bfunk said, but the opposite. DHs for nobody. I could make an argument “blah blah, both sides of ball, blah blah, tradition, blah blah”. But that’s all a bunch of BS. My only actual argument is “I like it better when there is no DH”.

    • j0esixpack - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      Seems to me the AL has it right. Pitching is such a hugely specialized portion of the game, there’s a strong case to be made that there’s simply no upside – other than low scoring games – to having them bat.

      Not only are pitchers not the generalist fielder/hitters of position players – even the pitching ranks itself is exceptionally specialized with starters, middle relief, specialists, and closers.

      I don’t mind that the NBA no longer use peach baskets for nets. I don’t mind that football players no longer play both offense and defense. I don’t mind that hockey players now do the unthinkable and wear helmets.

      I’m ok allowing the sports to evolve and improve over time.

    • Glenn - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      The NL is the only league in the world that does not use the DH. Who is the outlier?

  3. stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    This particular call seems like a no brainer. Were people in suspense? I mean…I heard some nonsense about Napoli catching…but I just assumed it was dudes trying to fill air space. Napoli has caught…what…like 15 innings this year? And Gomes almost makes Matt Holliday look like a gold glover. And that’s impossible.

    • rje49 - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      No, Napoli didn’t catch at all this year. He hasn’t caught since last year, with Texas.

      • bender4700 - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        He can’t catch anymore due to injury I thought. Otherwise he’d probably be catching for a team who needed a catcher.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        Exactly. Which makes the prospect of him catching and Ortiz sitting even more far-fetched. I really did think he caught a game or two though. Thanks for clarifying that though.

  4. apkyletexas - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    A team could have a lot of fun bunting stuff toward 1st base and seeing how much Big Pappi really wants to field the position.

    Not saying they should. But it would be interesting & fun to watch.

    Boston should be well prepared for the pitcher having to hit – since the bottom of their lineup is a complete disaster at the plate already.

  5. micker716 - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Papi’s 5 AB’s outweigh whatever he does (or doesn’t do) in the field.

  6. cabrera24 - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I would still put napoli at catcher . And leave Ortiz at first . Give him so practice before game and go on .

  7. tfbuckfutter - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    So….I am assuming Stephen Drew will continue his assault on the postseason record of strikeouts and LOBs?


    • tfbuckfutter - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      Oh, and by that I mean the CAREER records. Not the single season records.

      Because he has to be close to the former this year.

    • MLBlogsbig3bosox - Oct 26, 2013 at 2:07 AM

      I wish Napoli could play 3rd base…

  8. 13arod - Oct 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    why dont they just start napoil at catcher makes more sense

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