To say that Carlos Gomez plays the game passionately would be an understatement. Sunday’s “dust-up” between Gomez and Gerrit Cole being the latest example of the energy and intensity Gomez brings to a game. While sites like Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs meticulously track Gomez’s on-field performance, there’s one element of Gomez’s game that doesn’t grace their statsheets – how many times does Gomez take a “crazy swing” at a pitch?
Those who regularly watch the Brewers should be familiar with what happens when Gomez takes a “crazy swing” (CS). For those who don’t, it involves Gomez taking a hack so massive that –
- A) His helmet comes off his head
- B) He falls to his knee(s)
- C) Both
By my now official count, Gomez has eight CS on the season. Five times Gomez has swung so hard that his helmet either flew or fell off his head. Twice a massive hack took him to his knee(s). And, in Philadelphia, Gomez had one glorious swing that accomplished both.
Including Sunday’s slugfest, Gomez has made 85 PA, seen 315 pitches, and swung at 169 of them. Failed bunts were not counted as swings. So, out of 169 hacks, Gomez has made a crazy swing spectacle out of eight of them. When calculated like HR%, Gomez’s CS% (CS/all plate appearances) would be 9.4% – three percent higher than his 6.0 HR%.
In raw numbers, here’s a shortlist of things that Carlos Gomez has done less, this season, than swing himself out of his shoes –
- Eight crazy swings
- Six walks
- Six called third strikes
- Five home runs
- Four doubles
- Two triples
- One ejection
And here’s a brief breakdown of how Gomez got to his current tally –
|CS#||Date||Inning||Outs(BR)||Count||Pitch||VS.||Type of Swing|
|8||Apr 20||1st||0(0)||1-1||Cutter*||G. Cole (RHP)||Helmet Off|
|7||Apr 18||5th||0(0)||0-0||Changeup||C. Morton (RHP)||Helmet Off|
|6||Apr 16||7th||0(0)||1-1||Curveball||K. Butler (RHP)||To His Knees|
|5||Apr 13||7th||1(0)||0-1||Changeup||C. Morton (RHP)||Helmet Off|
|4||Apr 12||5th||1(1)||0-0||Changeup||E. Volquez (RHP)||Helmet Off|
|3||Apr 10||9th||1(0)||0-1||4-Seam FB||J. De Fratus (RHP)||To His Knees|
|2||Apr 8||4th||0(0)||0-0||Changeup||K. Kendrick (RHP)||BOTH!!!!|
|1||Mar 31||3rd||2(0)||0-0||Slider||J. Teheran (RHP)||Helmet Off|
*MLB Gameday classification. Brooks Baseball lists this pitch as a slider.
Predictably, most of Gomez’s CS occurred on off-speed or breaking pitches (7/8). All CS were within the first three pitches of the AB and never with two strikes. Smart situations to guess and go for broke. Gomez’s calculated use of an all-or-nothing swing shows that he can harness his aggressiveness. Unfortunately, Gomez didn’t show any of that restraint during Sunday’s third inning.
Gomez attracts fire because he’s also good at starting it. Currently, Gomez is hitting .312/.365/.610 with a .299 ISO and 163 wRC+. An encouraging sign that Gomez has matured into an impact player. While his love for the game is obvious and unquestionable, his passion isn’t always pretty. It can be infectious, though. So far, the Brewers are undefeated (8-0) in games that Gomez swings his heart out.