ST. LOUIS — The Boston Red Sox needed a hero. After throwing away two World Series games in a row, with images burning fresh in their minds of crazy heaves going down the left field line as the St. Louis Cardinals sent home game-winning runs, the Red Sox needed somebody — anybody — to ignore the heat of the spotlight and the weight of expectations, someone to transform Game 4 into a Series-tying victory, not a third straight loss that could doom their title chances.
Yet an hour before game time, they certainly didn’t know it would be Jonny Gomes, who wasn’t even in the original starting lineup, who would hit the three-run game-winning homer in the sixth inning to turn a 1-1 tie into an eventual 4-2 win. When bad is good, you know your luck has turned. When you’ve just become only the second team that anybody can uncover in MLB history to lose a game on a walk-off obstruction call, you need something strange to reverse the mojo, something genuinely weird, something with a maze of multicolored tattoos and a beard that could hide a first baseman’s mitt. Yes, heeeerrreee’s Jonny.