Who is the only Devil Ray to hit three home runs in the same game? It's not Aubrey Huff, Fred McGriff, Jose Canseco, Greg Vaughn, Tino Martinez, or Jason Tyner.
It's JONNY GOMES!
The radio postgame show is going on as I type this and they've got the JONNY! JONNY! chant going on. Tonight was also the first official curtain call demanded by the Tropicana Field fans, the only other curtain call was by Wade Boggs after his 3,000th hit but he acknowledged the fans before going into the dugout, he wasn't called back out.
Everyone reading this is probably well aware that I'm pretty much the biggest Jonny Gomes fan around so I am absolutely thrilled to see this. This should absolutely cement in everyone's mind that Gomes is an everyday player and should be a big part of the future of the Rays. Some expressed concern about him being a better fit as the lefty-bashing part of a platoon, any notion of that should be gone as well. His total stats and those vs. right-handed pitching this season:
|Gomes vs. Right||107||10||31||25||3||2||7||53||94||1||13.43||10.7||3.10||0.266||0.336||0.564||0.900||0.298||0.070|
IsoP is Isolated Power, SLG-BA. IsoD is Isolated Discipline, OBP-BA.
As you can see Gomes has been absolutely spectacular (keep in mind that he plays half his games in a pitcher's park that is especially hard on right-handed hitters) overall but also is no longer have any struggles against right-handed pitching. He has been better at hitting singles off left-handed pitching but that's about it, not a lot of difference now in his secondary skills. He's no platoon player, now that he has had more consistent playing time against right-handed pitching he is doing fine against them.
Yeah, we're still working with a small sample size here, less than 200 plate appearances. I expect his overall numbers to fall off a bit some, just normal fall-off from him being so hot, but I can easily see him finishing at .275/.350/.525 with around 20 home runs though he could very well do better than that. He's the real deal, the minor league numbers are there to back it up and he's still only 24 years old.
Other great news
Jesus Colome pitched the ninth inning tonight, walking one hitter and striking out one to finish the game. The result wasn't the best part though, it was how he looked doing it. The TV gun seemed to be clocking pitches a little faster than they were all night but it showed him at 99 several times and he was consistently around 97 with his fastball. He looked far better than he has in any other outing this season, maybe his shoulder is finally healthy again.