BOSTON -- For a while, Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava had been rotating in left field during the postseason. At this point, the position seems to be swinging in favor of the right-handed-hitting Gomes, who again got the nod in Game 6 against Tigers ace Max Scherzer.
Nava (1-for-9) and Gomes (2-for-9) haven't had much success in their career against the right-hander, but there is one stat that manager John Farrell isn't treating as a fluke: The Red Sox entered Saturday's game 5-0 in this postseason when Gomes is in the starting lineup.
That doesn't mean Farrell has lost any respect for Nava, who was a key part of what the Red Sox did during the regular season.
"It's been very difficult, because he's a good hitter," Farrell said. "He's been an important part of this team throughout the course of the year, and we're also at a time of the year where I mentioned the environment is different -- and that's not to say that he doesn't perform in this environment."
Not to minimize what Gomes did in the regular season, but his gritty personality seems to have been made for October baseball.
"It's just that we have a different feel and a different personality on the field when Jonny is in the lineup," Farrell said. "Call that a hunch, call it whatever you might. That's what it boils down to, and it's not easy to leave that left-handed bat out of the lineup."
While Farrell studies the statistical breakdowns as much as anyone, he admits they might not carry as much weight this time of year.
"I think at this point in time gut feel comes into it a little bit more than numbers will tell you on a stat sheet or a given category," Farrell said. "So the way players respond under these circumstances in this environment has got equal weight, if not more, than maybe what the numbers might indicate or drive you to make a decision over the course of a regular season game or over 162. This is a different environment.
"And I think that's why we've got to remain in tune with how guys are responding in those key moments, pressure packed moments."
Peavy ready, waiting in bullpen if needed
BOSTON -- After being handed an early knockout in a Game 4 loss, Jake Peavy will be ready to help the Red Sox out of the bullpen for the rest of the American League Championship Series.
Peavy has pitched in relief just once in his career -- in 2011 for the White Sox.
"I did it once before in Chicago and had some success. I'm hoping the situation plays out to where I'm not needed," Peavy said, "but I'll certainly be ready to go. There certainly aren't many more people anxious to get out there than I am. I'm excited if it comes to that, to get out there and help any way I can."
Though it's sometimes hard for veteran starters to transition to relief, manager John Farrell thinks Peavy can make the adjustment, due in large part to what he saw out of him in a two-inning stint in a simulated game before the postseason.
"I'm comfortable to do it, because I know it was only a sim game, but there was a little something there that stood out in the two-inning sim game that he threw prior to the start of this series," Farrell said. "And he knows this as well: I'd go to other guys that we've been going to, particularly in key spots, before we call upon him coming out of the bullpen."
And Peavy said that warming up is not an issue.
"Warming up, it doesn't concern me at all just because of how easy I can get loose," Peavy said. "I'm very blessed with that. It doesn't take me very long to be warmed up, so I don't think that will be a problem at all."
Farrell endorses Lovullo as managerial candidate
BOSTON -- Amid a report out of Chicago that Torey Lovullo is on the Cubs' radar for their vacant managerial position, Red Sox manager John Farrell left no doubt that his current bench coach is more than ready for a promotion.
"To me, he's a manager-in-waiting," Farrell said. "I think he's going to have opportunities until he ends up securing one of the jobs. But he's been integral to the success that we've had here. He's a great baseball mind. The conversations and the feedback and just the insights that he gives, he's going to be very good."
Both Farrell and Lovullo confirmed that the Cubs haven't requested formal permission for an interview at this point.
"I've had no contact," said Lovullo prior to Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. "It's just been business as usual around here, which is what we all prefer."
If the Cubs do request an interview, Lovullo will make sure it takes place after Boston's season is over.
"I don't want anything to be a distraction here," Lovullo said. "My allegiance is to this group that's been together for a long time."
Lovullo has some history with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who hired him to manage Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010.
"I think we have a mutual respect for one another," said Lovullo. "But we were on two different levels. He was at the big league level and I was in player development. I respected everything that the big league level stood for. There was no barriers between the front office and the manager, there was no disconnect with player development, and I know in time with that guy that sits in that seat there with Theo that it's going to be a pretty special relationship."
However, Lovullo isn't spending his hours at this juncture day-dreaming about working with Epstein or any other general manager.
There is too much at stake for the Red Sox.
"I want to make sure it's not a distraction here," Lovullo said. "This is my focus, this is where I'm at, I'm proud to be a Boston Red Sox. I understand how the association happens because of Theo's connection to the Red Sox and me being here when Theo was here."