CBS Houston – During the St. Louis Cardinals series Houston Astros center fielder, Carlos Gomez showed up big time getting four hits in seven at-bats. How did Gomez go from a strikeout machine to a key cog in the two wins the Astros picked up, what was different?
Glasses… That was the only change that it seemed the center fielder had made. Was he blind as a bat, and now he can see?
Did A.J. Hinch sit down with Gomez before the series and tell him he has great potential but he’s going down to the minor leagues to get right?
Did Gomez squint when Hinch pointed to Will Harris saying that he can go back to the minors and still come back and have a great career?
Did Hinch hold up a sign for Gomez and ask him to read it?
Turns out no, it wasn’t any type of scene from the movie Major League.
“I’m on the road, I have no contacts so what I’m I suppose to do… Put on my glasses,” Carlos Gomez said when asked why he decided to dawn the spectacles.
Gomez wears contacts and it’s normally not an issue but when you lose or damage them and don’t have replacements, the choice is not being able to see or wearing glasses.
For whatever reason it worked, but Gomez isn’t a very big fan of wearing the glasses. He shared with sportsradio610.com that the bridge on the glasses actually can sometimes trick him, which is why he uses the contacts. He has worked out pregame with the glasses for emergencies just like during the Cardinals series.
If it wasn’t the new look, then what? How did he turn it around?
“It’s not because the glasses, it’s the work I have been putting in the last couple of weeks,” Gomez said of what has sparked his hot play of late.
Gomez went on to share about all the extra work he has been doing, coming in hours early to take swings in the batting cage and do video work, all the way to getting help from teammates and coaches.
“I worked a lot with (Jose) Altuve one on one and he’s given me some advice, we worked together to get that feeling back,” Gomez said, “I’ve been feeling good behind the plate, with the adjustment I’ve been swinging at the pitches that I am looking for, that’s what I have been doing the last week and a half, it’s not because I was wearing glasses.”
Baseball players are so superstitious and retinue oriented, that it had to have been a big deal for Gomez to not dawn the glasses Friday night.
Former San Fransico Giants Cy Young pitcher Tim Lincecum would wear the same cap during every start. Boston RedSox Hall of Famer Wade Boggs would eat fried chicken before each game legend has it. Even Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio’s batting helmet would be caked in pine tar, the list of players and superstitions goes on and on forever.
It’s the hard work Gomez has put in that’s made him better, not any other crazy reason.
“People think we don’t put in the work,” Gomez said, “we work our ass off every day, that’s why we have done this for so long, it’s not like I am chilling here waiting for my paycheck, I want to do good, I want to help this team win, I know what kind of player I am.”
Before he was trying to force everything, trying to do too much, expanding his strike zone, swinging at pitches, and by doing all of that at times he looked way overmatched.
“I’ve been trying to hit the ball too much to the right field, and I was under the ball too much, now I am focused on hitting the ball straight through the middle as hard as I can,” Gomez said.
After the new approach, he’s calmed down at the plate and quieted his swing, he’s now looking for his pitches and not trying to send everything to the moon. Since then Gomez has looked like a completely different player, a night and day change from his April and May performances.
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