Appeal still pending, Gomez leaves with back tightness
MILWAUKEE -- A friend of Carlos Gomez's called early Tuesday from a New York area code, and Gomez thought, "Oh, here we go." He figured Major League Baseball had issued a ruling on his three-game suspension.
Instead, it was just a friendly call, and Gomez went about the rest of his day like any other. His appeal still pending, Gomez batted leadoff as usual in a rematch against Gerrit Cole and the Pirates and went 0-for-1 with a walk and was a hit by pitch before exiting the game in the top of the sixth inning with lower back tightness.
"'Gomey woke up yesterday with a tight lower back," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said following his team's 5-2 win. "[Batting practice] was tough for him today to swing. He wanted to play so we had him out there, but it didn't get any better."
Roenicke characterized Gomez's condition as day to day.
Regarding his suspension, the longer the wait goes on, the more optimistic Gomez becomes about a reduced ban.
"Sure," he said. "If they go right away, it's because that's it. If they're waiting, it's because they're trying to find the fair [outcome] for both sides. I'm still waiting and praying every single day."
Gomez was suspended for his role in the teams' April 20 dust-up at PNC Park. He made his appeal via video conference on Friday, and the Brewers anticipated an answer from MLB on Monday or Tuesday. A league spokesperson said Tuesday evening that the matter was still being deliberated.
Was Brewers manager Ron Roenicke surprised by the extended timeline?
"Not surprised, no," Roenicke said. "The [league official] making decisions on it, he needs to gather information on the precedents of what's happened in the past. And Gomez, too, a second offense comes into it. I think they're trying to figure out what to do with it."
In his appeal, Gomez blamed Pirates outfielder Travis Snider, one of the other players suspended, for escalating a verbal argument into a physical altercation.
But the two ran into each other Monday night at a downtown Milwaukee steakhouse and smoothed things over.
"There's no hard feelings. We're all professionals," Gomez said. "Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Snider personally. We shook hands and he gave me a hug, and everything is good. There's no hard feelings. It's part of the game. We all understand. We're professionals. Whatever happened on the field stays on the field. … Like I said before, we don't want any player to get hurt from stuff like that. When this happened, it's just a lot of emotion and adrenaline. It's not fun, but it's part of the game and you deal with it."
Asked how he was feeling, Gomez said before the game, "Sore, but I'm in the lineup today, so it's good."
He will be re-evaluated again on Wednesday before the series continues.