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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Gomes (Jonny)”

Gomes Again, Gomes Again, Jiggety-Jig

Raise your hand if you miss Jonny Gomes. His reckless play in the outfield, solid production at the dish, and dynamic clubhouse presence seems to be something lacking in the 2015 Red Sox. I won’t ever forget how he draped the Boston Strong jersey on the 2013 World Series trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line when the duck boat rolling rally paused. When Gomes and Jon Lester were traded to Oakland in 2014 two players that exemplified the heart and soul of the team left the Hub. Yoenis Cespedes came to the Red Sox only to be traded for Rick Porcello. Procello lasted six and one-third innings with six hits, four earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Most troubling was that the ground ball pitcher had three ground outs and five fly ball outs. Gomes went 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out twice and flied out to right, so the fence defensive formation never came into play. In the fourth Gomes made one of his signature “more dramatic than it needed to be” catches. Best of all it was on Dustin Pedroia, who was clearly amused that his former teammate made such a spectacular play. Maybe if...

Brock Star

Last night Brock Holt checked off center field off his list of positions to play. He got a feel for the territory when he fielded Danny Santana’s line drive single to start the game. That play seem to calibrate Holt to his new position’s parameters as he played the spot fluidly. Holt demonstrated his prowess in the third inning. Jonny Gomes in left field lost Brian Dozier’s fly ball in the twilight, as did the crew operating the camera. The lens was fixed on Gomes, who gamely put up his glove in an attempt to deke Dozier. Stephen Drew appeared in frame pointing up frantically. Holt dashed into the picture with a dramatic dive and catch. Dozier could only shake his head in amazement. This was Holt’s first put out in center. Your browser does not support iframes. David Ross joked with Holt, saying, “I hope you can’t catch.” After seeing Ross get hit in the throat by a pitch that bounced in the dirt I don’t think Holt will be actively campaigning to be backstop. That white spot under Ross’s chin? The ball finding a tender, unprotected spot of his body. Koji Uehara wasn’t available but Edward Mujica pitched...

True Grit

I missed the beginning of this game but I had a good reason. Clint Dempsey scored at the 32-second mark, the fastest goal by an American side ever in the World Cup. He was kicked in the face 33 minutes later but stayed in the game with a broken nose. He was having a hard time breathing because of the injury but stayed on the pitch. I am not alone in being annoyed by the flops that soccer players commit, but I will never question Dempsey’s toughness. One of Dempsey’s Red Sox equivalents could be Jonny Gomes. He’s the first outfielder on the scene when a batter tries to take a run at pitcher. But he has a soft side, too. He gave this young fan his broken bat. As weak as the Red Sox offense has been they may have found one even more anemic. The Twins’ offensive star was Sam Fuld, the only visiting player that notched an extra base hit. In the third inning he worked a base on balls with one out and swiped second base. He tried to score on Danny Santana’s single to center field when Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s throw was cut off. Instead...


This batboy had a mischievous air about him. Oh wait, that’s Dustin Pedroia. He finally shaved his scrubby facial hair in an effort to reverse his and his team’s fortunes. The second baseman went 1-for-5 with four men left on base. Perhaps the manscaping rubbed off on Jonny Gomes. The platoon player tied the game 3-3 in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer into the left field seats. Craig Breslow couldn’t rein in the Rays in the bottom of the seventh. Sean Rodriguez slammed a three-run shot into the stands off the southpaw and the scoring didn’t stop there. James Loney and Brandon Guyer scored on Yunel Escobar’s line drive double to Gomes. Escobar advanced to third on defensive indifference, a terrible breach of baseball etiquette in a sport where scratching one’s scrotum and excessive expectoration is commonplace. “Five runs up,” A.J. Pierzynski scornfully commented to Jose Molina. David Ross chirped from the Red Sox dugout and Escobar took exception. Gomes charged from left field to take Escobar out and the brawl was on. Gomes and Escobar were ejected for their parts in the melee. It wasn’t quite the fracas that Coco Crisp and James Shields sparked...

Gomes Sweet Gomes

The Fenway crowd saw a few things up close and personal that they might not have been expecting. They saw the Red Sox batters knock in timely hits in the fourth inning, sparking a two-run rally on a trio of doubles by Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Dustin Pedroia. Jonny Gomes followed up with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. The umpiring crew couldn’t believe a Boston player had a hit with a man on base so they reviewed it. Indeed Gomes had homered to the ledge on the Green Monster. Gomes was amongst the veteran players who wanted Stephen Drew back on the Red Sox. “When you get in the playoffs, you create a special bond as players. It becomes like a brotherhood,” said Gomes. “Then you win the World Series and you share so much. It’s not really like getting this All-Star-caliber shortstop back. It’s just kind of like one of our brothers is back, which is pretty cool.” Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks are part of that brotherhood but the younger siblings just weren’t contributing as expected. Drew will shore up the left side of the diamond and perhaps ease the pressure off Bogaerts. Or...

No One Left Behind

Jon Lester had a personal best 15 strikeouts in his eight innings of work. He was one hit, two walks, and three outs short of perfect game. Craig Gentry’s single in the third inning wouldn’t have been a hit if it didn’t luckily fall in between Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley, Jr., who usually plays center but was shifted to right field with Grady Sizemore in the game and Shane Victorino getting the day off. Lester is in his walk year. Perhaps sometime this season Ben Cherington will announce an extension for the southpaw. The price may have gone up, but the southpaw will be more affordable than Max Scherzer. Unlike so many games this season the Red Sox leapt ahead early. Tommy Milone allowed the first three batters he faced to load the bases and didn’t get an out until he enticed Mike Napoli to whiff on a 3-1 fastball. Jonny Gomes noted that Milone was starting off the sluggers in the order with curveballs and got a hold of the first pitch he saw and sent it into the Monster seats. Across town the Bruins pulled off a monster comeback by scoring four goals in eight minutes to...

Boston Stronger

On the eve of Patriots’ Day the Red Sox held a ceremony for the Boston Marathon. Families of the victims, survivors, and first responders gathered while a bagpipe orchestra played. Canvases from 50 states paying tribute to the marathon ringed the field. By the afternoon one Boston team was celebrating. The Bruins won the second game of the first round of the playoffs against Detroit 4-1. Justin Florek, Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic, and Zdeno Chara scored goals while Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug had two assists each. In a reversal of David against Goliath, Brendan Smith tried to start a fight with Chara at the end of the first period. Referees intervened, not wanting to see more red on the Detroit player’s uniform. If the Red Sox were to be victorious they would have to overcome an early deficit. Jake Peavy was roughed up in the first inning to the tune of a Nelson Cruz home run, a free pass to Chris Davis, consecutive singles to Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, and a sac fly for J.J. Hardy. Baltimore scored runs in the fifth and sixth. Jones’s line drive RBI single to Jonny Gomes in left field knocked Peavy out...

Holding On

David Ortiz rallied his teammates and delivered a speech akin to General George S. Patton’s speech to the Third Army. The events that followed in the game were like Patton Oswalt’s “Parks and Recreation” filibuster. Oswalt mashed up Star Wars, the Avengers, and a myriad of other fandoms in his diatribe. John Farrell cobbled together a World Series victory with a last-minute lineup and a melange of arms. Ortiz laid the groundwork in the fifth inning with a double scorched to the right-center gap. “Let’s go! ¡Vámonos!” he exhorted from the keystone sack. Jonny Gomes, who filled in for late scratch Shane Victorino, worked a walk after falling behind Lance Lynn in the count and Xander Bogaerts’s five-pitch at bat also granted him a free pass. With the bases loaded, Stephen Drew got enough loft on the ball and sacrificed in Ortiz to tie the game. Your browser does not support iframes. Clay Buchholz was throwing like Tom Brady. Despite his fastball hovering around 88 MPH, the starter gutted out 4 innings and only surrendered one unearned run. No one would be surprised if some point in the future Buchholz’s and Brady’s injuries are revealed to be much worse than...

My Errs

Yesterday’s game proved Yogi Berra’s quote: “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” Jon Lester took the mound fueled on pure adrenaline. In the first inning he struck out the side with 14 pitches. In the second inning Lester sat the first two batters handily enough, striking out Evan Longoria and inducing a pop out off the bat of Delmon Young. He had Sean Rodriguez struck out but for Chris Guccione calling the third strike a ball. Lester’s next pitch turned into a souvenir for a fortunate fan and a 1-0 lead for the visitors. The Rays added to their lead in the top of the fourth with Ben Zobrist’s solo home run. Lester then surrendered a base on balls and a single but left the mound with no further damage. Dustin Pedroia immediately responded to the visitors’ attack with a leadoff single up the middle. David Ortiz then lofted what looked to be a can of corn to right field. Wil Myers drifted back and called off Desmond Jennings but peeled off at the last second. Myers told Buster Olney that no one called him off but that he saw Jennings in his peripheral vision...

Flipping the Bird

The Red Sox relief corps didn’t cut the mustard late in the game. Junichi Tazawa successfully navigated the seventh frame but couldn’t get Matt Wieters and Danny Valencia out in the eighth. Franklin Morales struck out Nick Markakis but surrendered the go-ahead double to Steve Pearce. Even though the Red Sox clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs with the Seattle’s defeat of Oakland they had battled back to take the lead in the seventh. Both Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava had RBI singles. Neither one of these players were thought to be key in the remaking of this team but in a season of low expectations role players like Gomes and Nava have made the difference between adequacy and excellence. This Gomes lookalike had his helmet signed. This season has been so redolent of 2004. Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, and Mike Timlin have been color analysts and Tim Wakefield joined Tom Caron at the NESN studios. Another member of that fabled team is part of the Dodgers organization. Bill Mueller, Professional Scout. Game 161: September 28, 2013 Boston Red Sox97-64 5 H, L: Junichi Tazawa (25, 5-4)BS: Franklin Morales (1) 2B: Stephen Drew (29), David Ross (5) Baltimore Orioles84-77...

Fear the Beards (and Beers)

Now that the Red Sox have a favorable playoff berth I can’t help but be annoyed by two missed calls in this game. In the bottom of the fourth Jackie Bradley, Jr. was called out as the first part of a 4-3 double play but the replay showed that Ryan Goins missed the tag. With the bases loaded in the seventh Mike Napoli knocked the ball to Jose Reyes. The Blue Jays shortstop threw to J.P. Arencibia to get Dustin Pedroia at home but Arencibia’s relay to first drew Mark DeRosa off first base. Missed calls such as these would certainly but the dampener on a postseason series. If only the proposed instant replay system could be in place for these crucial games rather than in 2014. The 37,215 fans at Fenway Park knew that they could be sprayed by champagne if they stayed to the the final frame. But an unfortunate attendee was struck in the head by a can of beer punted into the stands by Jonny Gomes. In addition to winning the American League East with this defeat over the former darlings of media Blue Jays, Jon Lester won his 100th game. In his post-game interview the...

Priced Out

Jonny Gomes yanked on his beard when he singled in Mike Napoli in the fifth inning. Napoli had just broken up David Price’s perfect game with a double that Desmond Jennings could have caught but let slip out of his glove when he collided with the wall. Gomes, who has crashed against the rusty nails and metal of the Green Monster and didn’t drop the ball, was unimpressed. The burgeoning facial hair has been this team’s hallmark. Everyone who sports one gets immediately attains a menacing mien. Okay, perhaps not everyone. What Clay Buchholz lacked in facial hair he made up for in pitching. He was limited to 75-80 pitches, but his stuff was good enough to hold the Rays scoreless. He handed it off to the bullpen in the sixth and the trio of Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara kept Tampa Bay off the board. The relief corps did this despite the most uncomfortable bullpen benches in the majors. Derek Lowe accompanied Don Orsillo in the booth. The former pitcher did pretty well for his first time as a color commentator. He adorably said, “My favorite Red Sox player is whoever wears my old number.” He’s even...

Statement Game

It seemed like Jon Lester was out to prove something. Perhaps it was that he could win a game with very little run support (take that, Lackey). Or that he could go toe-to-toe with a Cy Young candidate and stop him from notching his 20th victory (I’m looking at you, Max Scherzer, and I have eyes the same color). Maybe even show people that they needn’t pine for a number one starter because they have one in the rotation (Clay is injured; I beat cancer). Scherzer held the Red Sox scoreless until the fifth inning when Will Middlebrooks’s gutshot single plated Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew. The Tigers ace pitched so well Shane Victorino figured he might as well switch to the left side in the seventh to see if he could get a hit from the other side of the plate. Victorino popped out to the catcher with two runners on to end the frame. Both teams were desperate for runs. In the third Tom Brookens sent Brayan Pena home on Jose Iglesias’s frozen rope to center. David Ross easily tagged Pena out, staunching the score that would have been the difference between a loss and extra innings. These...

Workin’ for a Livin’

Baseball is a game of split second timing, of grace, of speed. The difference between fair and foul, between a hit and a ground out: mere milliseconds. When the batter reaches base he transforms from a tightly coiled machine to a high performance engine prepared to power around the basepaths like a McLaren F1. Then there’s Jonny Gomes. Here he is in the third inning bulldozing over Marco Scutaro to break up the double play. On the defensive side of the ball outfielders prowl their territory like cheetahs waiting to pounce upon their unwitting quarry. Their eyes are akin to those of raptors that spot their prey from a mile away and flawlessly adjust their trajectory to snare their victims. Here’s Gomes making a last second lunge to catch Brandon Belt’s fly ball to left to get the first out of the fourth inning. It’s not pretty, but a dozen runs on the board certainly are. Game 129: August 21, 2013 Boston Red Sox75-54 12 W: Felix Doubront (9-6) 2B: Jacoby Ellsbury (28), Dustin Pedroia – 2 (30), Shane Victorino (21)HR: Will Middlebrooks (11), Stephen Drew (10) San Francisco Giants56-70 1 L: Barry Zito (4-9) HR: Joaquin Arias (1)...

Texas Throwdown

Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew have been names often mentioned in come-from-behind victories and last night was no exception. In the top of the seventh Gomes sent the ball over the mini-monster that inhabits Minute Maid Park’s left field. Drew smacked a three-run circuit clout into the right field stand in the ninth. Koji Uehara preserved the lead by striking out the side in the bottom of the frame. And there was much rejoicing. I think Jerry and Don enjoyed Texas more than they wanted to let on. Howdy, pardners! Mike Napoli even got friendly with Orbit. I’m not sure why Orbit would like Napoli as the fuzzy alien lists black holes as something he dislikes. I liken Napoli to black holes in a good way, as in he sucks up everything at first! This has nothing to do with his recent penchant to strike out or ground into double plays with the score close and runners in scoring position, nosirree. Shane Victorino had a frustrating evening with a single hit and three left on base. In the top of the sixth he struck out to end the inning the the bases loaded on Brian Knight’s ruling that he went...

Eleventh Heaven

Jonny Gomes accomplished a lot for being a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He tallied the second out of the inning by fielding Michael Saunders’s liner and firing to Brock Holt to erase the lead runner (using the term “runner” charitably) Kendrys Morales. Gomes then collided against the American League East standings on Endy Chavez’s liner. It was as if the slugger’s desire to knock the other teams in the division down a peg was made manifest in reality. With a 7-2 lead acting manager Robby Thompson decided to let his closer Tom Wilhelmsen get in what he thought would be some easy work. That ended after Daniel Nava’s walk, Ryan Lavarnway’s rope to center, Holt’s run-scoring double to left, and a five-pitch base on balls to Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases. Thompson decided that Wilhelmsen had enough work at that point and signaled for… well, he had intended to bring in right-handed Yoervis Medina to face Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia but instead he gestured with his left hand. The umpires forced Thompson to go with his original signal and Oliver Perez had to take the mound. I searched for the specific rule that Thompson violated but I...

Extra Innings Slog

Did someone order a walk-off win in extra innings as July turned into August that propelled the team back into first place? With a couple of outstanding double plays on the side? A galvanizing win after a pivotal trade sprinkled on top? The Red Sox were poised to shatter the 4-4 tie in the 14th inning. As if in a movie the fringe player, played by Brandon Snyder, led off the rally with a double. Jacoby Ellsbury bunted Snyder over and Shane Victorino seemed to loft the ball far enough afield for Snyder to tag up for the winning run. But Michael Saunders positioned himself perfectly to coil up for a flawless throw home to end Snyder’s cinematic ending with a crushing double play. Seattle was paid back in kind in the 15th frame. Saunders laced the ball into shallow left with Endy Chavez on first and Raul Ibanez on second. Jonny Gomes made a diving catch of the liner and trotted to second base for an unusual unassisted double play by an outfielder. For some reason Ibanez didn’t try to get back to the keystone sack. Dustin Pedroia sparked another chance for Boston in the bottom of the 15th...

Gomeric Epic

Chase Headley called time late and Jon Lester, as is his wont, let the pitch fly. The ball hit Headley’s foot, causing the third baseman to limp about for a few minutes. Headley’s pain couldn’t have been that bad as he ended up singling off the left field wall. Then Headley advanced and Carlos Quentin scored on Kyle Blanks’s single, giving the visitors the early lead. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings warned both dugouts when Edinson Volquez hit Jose Iglesias with a pitch to start the third inning. Volquez and both teams’ managers were perplexed by the warning. Iglesias is the number nine hitter, the first batter in the inning, and the game is 1-0; all these factors point to this being an unintended plunking. Here is Don Orsillo reenacting Jerry Remy’s bewilderment. The Red Sox threatened to take the lead repeatedly. They had men on base in every frame except the fifth and seventh. They loaded the bases in the third. It took Jonny Gomes’s pinch-hit home run to break the 1-1 tie. While fans scrambled in the Monster seats scrambled to recover the souvenir Gomes rounded the bases to meet the roiling mob at home plate. There was...

Baileyed Out

Felix Doubront had a dazzling eight innings of three-hit baseball with no walks and six strikeouts. He passed the baton to Andrew Bailey, who promptly surrendered a solo shot to Kelly Johnson to tie the game 1-1. As Jeor Mormont said to Samwell Tarly, “That was your job. Your only job.” Bailey definitely owes Doubront a clean save so he can get the W and Red Sox fans a scoreless save conversion. There’s just too much stress in the Boston sports scene with the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals and Aaron Hernandez under scrutiny in a homicide investigation. Fortunately for the Red Sox and Bailey Jonny Gomes entered the batter’s box with vengeance in his eyes and lightning in his bat. He came up with the team that was then known as the Devil Rays. The only time his home field had crowds of any note were when the Red Sox or Yankees were in town. How sweet it must have been for him to power the two-run homer over the Monster to win the game against his former team. With pure exuberance Gomes rounded third and punted his helmet. The couple from Kentucky who were the fans of...

Gomes Away from Home

Pedro Florimon has hit two home runs this season. Both of them have come against the Red Sox. There’s just something about Boston’s pitchers that turns this nine-hole hitter into a slugger. His two-run shot in the bottom of the third put his team ahead 2-1. He didn’t even need the aid of the jutting section in right field to visit souvenir city. It took until the seventh but the Red Sox tied the game. Jonny Gomes led off the frame with a base on balls and scooted to third on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s line drive single to center. Jacoby Ellsbury stroked the ball up the middle where Florimon got to it but only managed to deflect it to Aaron Hicks in center. Gomes scored the tying run on the single. The Twins and Red Sox were deadlocked until the tenth. Dustin Pedroia led off with a single and David Ortiz followed with a walk. John Farrell called for Will Middlebrooks to sacrifice bunt and Ron Gardenhire countered by intentionally walking hot-hitting Stephen Drew. Gomes took this personally and lofted the ball to center to plate the go-ahead run. Koji Uehara pitched a perfect tenth inning with two strikeouts to secure...


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