st. louis Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes tried to tell his new teammates this spring what the outcome of this baseball season would be, drawing giggles and nervous laughter.
Funny how one swing of the bat Sunday can do a whole lot of convincing.
Gomes, kept out of the original starting lineup, hit a three-run homer to give the Red Sox a 4-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals, evening the World Series at 2-2 and ensuring the series will return to Boston.
This is where the Red Sox will win the World Series, Gomes boldly predicts, and why start doubting him now?
"The story has already been written," Gomes says. "We're just playing it out."
Gomes carved out a chapter of his own, pumping his fists and screaming while circling the bases with his sixth-inning blast, nearly knocking down everyone in his wake when he reached home plate.
It was yet another zany moment in this wild Series with the Red Sox squeezing the possible out of impossible and Gomes slamming the improbable into probable.
Gomes had never hit a postseason homer and entered the game with a .125 career postseason batting average, the lowest by any active player with at least 40 at-bats. He was hitless in nine at-bats in the World Series, grounding into a double play in the second inning but drawing a key 10-pitch walk in the fifth inning.
The only reason he was even playing was because Red Sox center fielder Shane Victorino was scratched 90 minutes before game time with a strained back.
It might be the injury that saves the Red Sox's season.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called on right-hander Seth Maness to face Gomes with two outs and two on in the sixth inning. Farrell didn't even think of replacing Gomes.
"He's going put up a tough at-bat," Farrell said. "If a pitcher is going to make a mistake on the plate, he's going to cover it. It's just how it works out."
It took five pitches for Gomes to validate Farrell's belief, hitting a sinker into the Red Sox's bullpen for a 4-1 lead.
"Call that a hunch. Call it whatever you might," Farrell says of his belief in Gomes. "At this point, gut feel comes into it a little bit more than numbers will tell you on a stat sheet."
We have a hunch we'll see Gomes in that lineup the rest of the series.
"You don't play this game for the 162-game regular season," Gomes said. "You play for the 19 games of the postseason. The regular season isn't even an appetizer or a bowl of soup.
"It's why we play the game. You can forget about all of the other crap. It's all about this time of year."
He reminded us Sunday.