Carlos Gomez settling in with Houston Astros at perfect time


The Houston Astros have been anything but consistent lately. Since they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in commanding fashion towards the end of August, they have not been able to string together more than 2 wins in a row. In that time they have gone a measly 7-9 and failed to run away with the division. The Texas Rangers are still nipping at their heels at 1.5 games back.

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Most of this inconsistency is stemming from the offense. For a lineup with as much explosive power as this Houston Astros team has, they sure do go to the farthest extent of hot and cold. They got shut out by the New York Yankees before scoring 15 in their next game and 6 after that. Then they got shut out again.

The Houston Astros scored 8 against the Twins. Then 2. And then 8 again. Then 9. Then they got shut out again before scoring 11.

On paper, that averages out to about 5 runs a game, but when you look at how those runs are being scored, it is either feast or famine. That could be absolutely detrimental in their playoff run.

With players like Luis Valbuena, Colby Rasmus and Hank Conger, it is easy to see why the Houston Astros have a feast or famine identity. It’s a strikeout or the long ball. When one guy goes deep, everyone does. When no one does, well, no one else does.

Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa needed another consistent hitter and they may finally have found that in Carlos Gomez.

Acquired at the trade deadline for a mass of prospects, Carlos Gomez was seen as icing on the Houston Astros cake, but he has flailed to get any sort of consistency going. That is, until lately.

Gomez has become the Houston Astros most feared hitter as of late, as he is in the midst of a stellar streak where he has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games. 3 of his last 5 games have been multi-hit games. In that streak Gomez has contributed 3 home runs and 9 RBIs. Perhaps most importantly though, in the last 11 games, Gomez has struck out only 5 times.

The Houston Astros philosophy has been painfully obvious: Hit the ball hard or hit the bench trying. Strikeouts have been a byproduct. That is well and good to a certain extent, but when you have George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa leading off the lineup, having a clean-up hitter who does not kill a rally in one fell swoop with a strikeout is crucial. The allure of a home run pales next to the potential of prolonging a sustained rally.

Carlos Gomez has been doing just that.

Carlos Gomez must remain the Houston Astros clean up hitter. Majority of the time, he will be getting to the plate with a guy on base. From there, he puts the ball in play, he prolongs rallies, he drives in runs. That is what the Houston Astros need.

Next: George Springer is no lead off man

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