ST. PETERSBURG -- Even after having a breakthrough regular season, Daniel Nava was reduced to spectator status for the first two games of the best-of-five American League Division Series against the Rays. This is because Boston happened to face lefties in the first two games, and Jonny Gomes always starts in left against southpaws.
Nava is looking forward to getting his shot in Monday night's Game 3 (6 p.m. ET on TBS), when he is likely to make the start in left against righty Alex Cobb.
"It's nothing different than what my role was earlier in the year," said Nava. "I knew going in that I wasn't going to play the first two games against lefties, and I knew that the third game I'd probably be playing just based off how things have gone this year. We've had stretches where we made a West Coast trip and we faced a lot of righties. It's just how the game goes."
The switch-hitting Nava had a strong season for the Red Sox, hitting .303 with 12 homers, a .385 on-base percentage and an .831 OPS in 458 at-bats.
"It's just how the game goes. Obviously, you want to be in there, but at this point, you work the whole season, you just want to win," Nava said. "We got two wins, we're trying to get one more. If I play three innings or five innings or seven innings, as long as we get the win, that's all anyone cares about."
This will be the first time Nava has played in the postseason.
"I was actually joking with Mark Parent, bench coach for the White Sox," said Nava. "I was like, 'This is going to be the same thing as our [independent league] playoffs.' He was like, 'Yeah. Well, not quite.' It's going to be fun.
"It was fun just being on the bench watching everything take place. One run scores, two runs score, three runs score, and you're on the top step and you don't even realize you're on the top step. But you're into the game, so to be a part of it and have some action, that's what you play 162 for, right?"