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CBSBoston.com’s Mike Hurley talked World Series baseball on The Adam Jones Show on Friday night.
Aside from Daniel Nava starting in place of Jonny Gomes in left field, are there any other lineup changes that John Farrell may want to make as the series shifts to St. Louis?
“I would make the move at catcher,” Hurley said. “I think what you see out of David Ross, he’s so much better back there. And it’s not even the play [Jarrod] Saltalamacchia didn’t make [in Game 2]. It’s just every pitch, the way that Ross catches it and frames it and holds it there, whereas Saltalamacchia sort of stabs at it and pushes it into the dirt. He costs the pitchers strikes. If he’s hitting, you can deal with that no problem, but with the way he’s hitting, I’d go with Ross — and especially now that Ross has found a magic bat where he can hit.”
And what about Stephen Drew?
“It would have to be something that Farrell considers to put Will Middlebrooks back in [the lineup],” Hurley said. “Mike Napoli’s out [in the NL park], and there goes your No. 2 home run man behind David Ortiz. The guy who finished third on the team this year in home runs this year was Middlebrooks, despite only playing about 100 games. He had 17 home runs in [94 games], so that’s something you have to consider. Obviously, he didn’t hit very well when the playoffs began, but just the threat of the long ball might warrant Middlebrooks getting a look. I don’t think it’ll be in Game 3, but if things don’t go too well in Game 3, and you’re facing a 2-1 deficit, at a certain point you can only live with your shortstop hitting [.095] for so long.”
Still, Drew’s spot in the starting lineup remains reasonable due to his defense.
“At the same time, Drew’s defense is not a joke,” Hurley said. “Those back-to-back plays he made in the fifth, and he made three or four charging plays that weren’t routine at all. I frankly don’t know that Xander Bogaerts makes those, so the defense definitely shouldn’t go overlooked. But at a certain point if you’re not scoring runs and you need to win a game, you might have to make that move.
“It’s not easy for Farrell, no doubt, but Drew is not making it any easier for him”