St. Louis (CBS Houston) – Tuesday night the Houston Astros beat their old N.L. foes, the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2. The big story of the game was starting pitcher Doug Fister’s great night, as he pitched 7.1 innings, allowed two runs, and struck out six batters while also driving in two runs himself batting.
Fister did a lot to help get the win, but with George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa all contributing one hit and one RBI in total, the unsung hero Tuesday night came from a very unlikely place.
Carlos Gomez provided a big boost and was a big factor in the Astros pulling out the road upset.
Gomez finished the night with two hits, scored three runs and even stole a base off Yadier Molina.
“It was a good contribution out of him,” A.J. Hinch said on Root Sports postgame about Gomez’s night, “he’s been swinging the bat a little bit better and a little bit better, he got a couple home runs when he first got off the DL, then he’s had a lull but then he’s hit the ball hard a couple of times and not got anything to show for it.”
This was a different Gomez then fans had grown accustomed to seeing. It wasn’t until his second at-bat when I noticed Gomez was wearing glasses.
He indeed was wearing them from the start of the game. Astros radio broadcaster Robert Ford who was doing play by play on TV for Root Sports mentioned that the glasses that Gomez was wearing was not exactly prescription.
Gomez aside from a bunt single was making solid contact with the ball all game long. Gomez Tuesday night did not strike out at all which was only the seventh time all season he’s been able to have a clean game at the plate.
“I think what we see is when he can stay in the strike zone, stay under control, he’s a productive player at this level,” Hinch said of Gomez, “when you look up at the scoreboard after a couple months of struggling it can look ugly, but the reality is the skill set is there, the talent is there.”
It may not seem like a lot but in the month of June, Gomez is hitting .200, a far climb from the .136 he posted just the month before.
“It’s going to take him while to dig out of this from a number standpoint,” Hinch said, “he’s still a very productive player at this level if he can continue to stay positive with himself and get good pitches to hit.”
It seems unfathomable that such a small change – if Ford is indeed right that the glasses aren’t prescription – could have such an impact, but maybe he found something.
Players will do anything and everything to try and change things up to do something to get them into a groove. Some guys change up their walk up music, some guys go much deeper and re-work their approach at the plate, and some guys wear glasses.
Glasses worked for Ricky Vaughn in “Major League” maybe they will work for Gomez as well.
With the Astros so close to .500, a Gomez in centerfield that is back to even last season’s level will help the team out tremendously.