It’s been two weeks since I published my Carlos Gomez thoughts. He’s hitting a robust .160 a solid 50 point dip from his terrible season line with HOU. But two of those four hits have been monster HR’s. The second pitch he saw in a Rangers uniform was deposited into the left field seats with two runners on base. His most recent hit was as close to a death nail as we could give the Seattle Mariners this season. We’d already won the first two games of the series and were facing off against “King” Felix Hernandez. Up to the plate strode Gomez. With two runs already on the board for the good guys, a goose egg for the visiting M’s and the bases loaded Carlos made solid contact and launched his second home run (this time a grand slam) of the season again into the left field seats. We swept the series on the strength of a 14-1 final game.
I’m on a few different continuing group texts. A couple of them Ranger based. Coleman (who will hopefully write something here) chimed in:
“Bryan’s new favorite Ranger just cemented his place in the Ranger Hall of Fame.”
I wasn’t near a T.V. so I had to ask what happened exactly.
“Car-Go hit a Grand Slam.”
There is definitely some truth to what Coleman said. I came into this union with a closed heart, actively trying to dislike “Car-Go,” but all he’s done is come in, work his ass off, smile from ear to ear and play excellent defense.
In my earlier piece I had this to say:
“More than not liking the move, I don’t like what it does to me as a fan. I’m forced to realize that statistically speaking it’s a good bet that the guy is going to do something good that is going to help the Rangers win a (some) game(s). I’ll be forced to cheer for him because I’m a Texas fan.”
And win “some games” they have. In the 8 games since his signing with the Rangers they’ve gone 7-1. He’s personally made enough impact in three of them to garner talking to Emily Jones, a sort of unofficial player of the game award.
He’s been all around delightful and seems to be one of those guys who definitely benefits from not having all of the lights on him. Maybe Houston was just a bad fit in what he thought they were asking of him. It’s possible that he played tight because they gave up a good haul to trade for him. Some players are like that. They can’t carry the load by themselves. In Texas he’s not being asked to do anything like that, he can just come in and play baseball. Sometime all it takes is a change of scenery, and sometimes it takes a change in attitude and approach. He really seems to welcome this new situation and has openly stated that he can’t wait to get to the ballpark everyday. For Sunday’s game the players were asked to arrive to the ballpark by 10 am. Carlos got there at 8am, he said he just loved coming to the clubhouse.
The clubhouse has accepted him as one of their own. Rougned Odor and him have struck up a friendship possibly becoming the most hated duo in the league. Rougned gave his best Jose Bautista impression by admiring his work after a homerun and may have to pay for it, or maybe the 98 mph fastball that Elvis Andrus wore later in the game paid for it already.
Either way, good baseball is fun, and the Rangers are doing it better than anyone in the A.L. right now. It’s still really early in his tenure and it could all still go south, but he seems to really love baseball and that’s all right with me.