Jonny Gomes has helped several teams get into the playoffs. But he was 0 for 7 in three career postseason games. Gomes has accomplished plenty in his career, but he very badly wants to contribute to a team in the playoffs.
That made Friday a special one for him. He had a two-run double and scored two runs in a 12-2 victory against the Rays. Gomes scored from second on an infield single by Stephen Drew in the fourth inning, and from first on a double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fifth. On both occasions, his hustle made a difference.
“That hustle is definitely erased if Stephen Drew doesn’t hustle to first,” Gomes said. “So it’s double hustle.”
Third base coach Brian Butterfield wasn't surprised that Gomes went 180 feet on an infield hit. Gomes looks for those opportunities.
"Base running is a tough sell sometimes," Butterfield said. "I think that when you have veteran guys who carry the torch correctly, it's a lot easier for everybody. All year long, it's a means to an end. You look at when guys get thrown out. It may make that outfielder lift his head up a little earlier because he knows we're going to be aggressive."
A few other notes or observations from Game 1:
• All nine Red Sox starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run. It was only the third time in postseason history that happened. The Yankees did it in 1936 and the Cardinals in 1934.
• Jon Lester has a 2.35 ERA in seven career postseason starts. He showed his maturity in the second inning. After umpire Chris Guccione missed a 2-2 pitch that sure looked like a strike, Lester allowed a home run by Sean Rodriguez. After the inning, he spoke to Guccione and didn't get too emotional.
Lester went on to allow one more run.
"I think being involved in playoff games at a young age you learn through experience how to handle these situations," Lester said. "A perfect example is today. I knew two runs wasn't going to beat us."
• David Ortiz has played in 58 postseason games, five shy of matching the team record set by Jason Varitek.
• Shane Victorino on the mistake by Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers: "I don't feel bad for him, brother. One hundred percent, I've been in that situation before as a young player. This kid he is going to be a good player. Actually, he's going to be a great player.
"For me, if you're really looking and you're pulling away because you see the center fielder out of the corner of your eye, you're not in a good position, I mean as a fellow outfielder. If I pull away because I hear him, that's a different story."
• The Sox snapped a four-game losing streak in the postseason dating to 2008.
• Saltalamacchia, Will Middlebrooks and Junichi Tazawa all got in their first postseason game.
How about Middlebrooks? Banished to Pawtucket for two months, he started a playoff game and was 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. He also made a nice defensive play in the second inning.
• David Price, Tampa Bay's Game 2 starter, has a career 2.93 ERA in 20 starts against the Sox, 1.88 in 10 starts at Fenway. In three relief appearances against the Sox in the 2008 ALCS, he threw 2 1/3 shutout innings.
Price threw nine innings and 118 pitches against Texas on Monday. That probably won't be an issue, however. He has gone nine innings five times this season, including against the Sox at Fenway on July 24 in a game the Rays won, 5-1.
• Saw a fan with a sign that said, "Red Sox magic number is now 10."