Batter No. 3 – Carlos Gomez
At one time, Carlos Gomez was a serious offensive threat. Gomez had a wRC+ of 130 between 2013 and 2014 while garnering MVP votes both years. Those days have passed however and in recent times Gomez has been slightly above average with the stick. Still, Gomez has more pop than the previous two hitters did. Noting that, Sale pitched Gomez a little more carefully.
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Sale started with a changeup low and away that Gomez could only foul off to the opposite field. Sale would then miss up and away with a fastball; the only time his four-seamer missed in the inning.
Noting that most of Gomez’s power comes on the lower inside half of the plate, one would think Vazquez would set up away again. After all, there’s no doubt Vazquez has read the scouting report on arguably the most threatening hitter in the Rays lineup. But Vazquez had confidence in his pitcher and called for a changeup low and in which Gomez popped a mile high to Bogaerts at short.