|Carlos Gomez. @Mets.|
Mets outfielder Carlos Gomez has provided just the spark the Mets needed, and was a huge part of their sweep of the Washington Nationals, including his game-winning home run on Thursday.
The Mets were trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth when Gomez launched a bomb to left-center field for a three-run homer to give the Mets a 6-4 lead, which would be the final.
Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said of what the outfielder has brought to this team, "He really has (upped the energy in the clubhouse). I think everybody in there respects him for the way he comes in every day whether he's going to play or not, I mean, you saw everybody when you were interviewing him out on the field (referring to SNY's Steve Gelbs) in the dugout standing there, staying there to watch him get interviewed."He's very well-respected, he brings energy every day, even (pitcher Ryan) O'Rourke, when he got here today, said, 'hey, we were missing Go-Go down there.' That's what he brings, and that's one of the reasons why we wanted to get him up here. It's leadership, it's the ability - he's got great athletic talent, and he can pop one like he did tonight. He's going to play good defense, he can steal, he's fearless when he's out there on the basepaths. He brings a lot to a team."
|Carlos Gomez celebrating with his teammates on his way to the dugout after his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Callaway was referencing Gomez's speed, and that was on display in the fifth inning, when he singled, stole second base and reached third on a throwing error by Washington catcher Yan Gomes.
He came in on a Juan Lagares sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 1-0 lead at the time.
Gomez, who was called up on May 17, got his first hit on Monday night, an RBI double in the third inning of their 5-3 win over Washington to open the series.
It was his first hit for the Mets since September 26, 2007, which was also against Washington at Shea Stadium, when he was the top Mets' prospect.
The following winter, he was part of the trade that brought star pitcher Johan Santana to the Mets from Minnesota.
Gomez played two seasons for Minnesota before going to Milwaukee in 2011, where he played five years before a moment all Mets fans should remember.
On July 29, 2015, with the trade deadline a couple days away, word came out that the Mets were close to acquiring Gomez from the Brewers.
This news came out during the Mets' game that night against the Padres, and the player that would have been sent to Milwaukee, Wilmer Flores, was seen on the field crying as word obviously got to him that he would be dealt.
Mets Manager Terry Collins was vehement that he had no idea what was going on, otherwise he never would have had Flores in there.
As it turned out, the deal was not as imminent as it seemed, and Gomez wound up being traded to Houston, who made the playoffs that season.
Two days later, just ahead of the trade deadline, the Mets pivoted and acquired Yoenis Cespedes from Detroit, and he was the spark that team needed as they ran away with the National League East title and went on to the World Series.
Gomez and Cespedes are linked once again on this day. While the Mets were celebrating Gomez's big home run, the team announced after the game that Cespedes had surgery on his ankle and will be done for the season.
Meanwhile, back to a few years ago. Gomez stayed with Houston into the 2016 season, when he was traded to the Texas Rangers, where he stayed until 2017.
Last season, Gomez played for the Tampa Bay Rays, who shocked the baseball world by winning 90 games in the brutal American League East.
Gomez played 118 games in 2018, as he hit 9 home runs with 32 RBI, and had 12 stolen bases. He hit .208 and had a .298 on-base percentage.
The Mets signed Gomez as a free agent on March 7, largely as an afterthought, as they had a crowded outfield heading into the season.
Gomez got his chance when Michael Conforto was placed on the injured list due to a concussion he suffered last Thursday at Washington.
This opened the door for the 33-year-old veteran to come back to a team where he was once their top prospect and nearly made it back to in his prime, although with the way he played this week, he certainly isn't done.