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Game 102: Marlins at Nats

Jul 26, 2011, 7:20 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals are finally back home tonight against the Marlins.

It's been 16 days since a ballgame was last played at Nationals Park, a long stretch that finally comes to end tonight when the Nationals host the Marlins in the first game of a key, nine-game homestand that will also see the Mets and Braves come to town.

The Marlins, of course, have been nemesis No. 1 for the Nats in recent years, though the matchup has been far more even so far this season (Florida has won five of nine). The Nationals also catch something of a break this week in avoiding Josh Johnson (DL) and Anibal Sanchez. They do have to deal tonight with Ricky Nolasco (career 8-3 vs. the franchise).

With everyone rested and refreshed following an off-day, Davey Johnson goes with his regular lineup: Roger Bernadina leading off and in center field, Jayson Werth batting fifth, Laynce Nix batting sixth and Wilson Ramos behind the plate. Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound, trying to bounce back from his worst outing of the season (six runs allowed in five innings).

Plenty of updates to come…

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to CF

CF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Michael Morse


  1. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Let's play a clean game Nats!

  2. sjm308 - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    would love to see us a little more aggressive on the basepaths (if we get on base that is).If Davey is not a big fan of stealing then how about some hit and run?Would like to see the numbers on attempted steals pre-Davey and with Davey. Not knocking him, he has the pedigree, I just liked to see our guys with speed utilize that strength. We have four + baserunners in Bernadina, Espinosa, Desmond and Werth. Turn them loose!!

  3. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    So, "Sunshine" is going to be 314, SCJ is going to be in 308. I'll be in 406. Mark'd will be at that same (somewhere).Am I violating some sort of etiquette to ask "where/when" can we meet? Hopefully not, and, if not, then: where/when can we meet. I'd invite you all up to where I am (Row L, 406), but you'd need to take precautions about nosebleeds up there (but it's often a nice breeze on a hot day).Also, Sec 3 asked:so, assuming there will be any left, where are the $2 ticket seats, assuming one sits in them after buying that ticket?I see there are no left — but when I got them, last night, I had a choice of infield top (the 400's behind the plate) and left or right field corner (108 and 117 or so, I think). The 400's behind the plate aren't so bad, particularly if you can move down to the 300's later on.The specials — and I don't know how to find them other than URL's posted here at NI — are at see on Aug 1 (and, drats I'll be out of town), an amazing deal: $1 night where there are $1 tickets, $1 hot dogs, $1 peanuts, $1 popcorn and $1 parking.Also, tomorrow is $1 hot dog night.So, nu?, where/when do we meet?

  4. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Home cooking. Check. Z'nn on the bump. Check. Another curly w in the books. TBD, but I'm hoping for it. Let's go, fellas! (I think I heard some kids chanting that at one point during the road trip and I kinda liked it.) clap clap-clap clap clap!

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    I think that there's another ticket special for seniors on August 3 (when I happen to have an appointment scheduled – d'oh!)

  6. gonatsgo - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Agree with posters so far and would like to add, along with playing cleanly, running the bases and stealing, – bunting for a base hit. Bernie or Espi should be able to get a few more basehits that way because they are seriously fast. Can't watch tonight – out of town relatives to entertain. But I love watching JZimm pitch – hard to believe that the last outing was his worst after missing so much time with surgery. And he was still a pretty new guy when he hurt his elbow. He has spoiled us with his consistency to the point where it was a shock to see him struggle. I hope he rebounds tonight because we don't have much time left to watch him pitch. Next year he is going to tear it up!

  7. sjm308 - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Just read a blog (capital baseball) that Mark supplies on the left side of this commenting on how poorly HRod is after coming back out for a 2nd inning. Nice to see someone else has noticed. I am sure I have no idea how to manage a pitching staff, I can't even manage my own comments but I do hope our relief guys either figure out how to come back for a 2nd inning or Davey pulls them after one good inning.Go Nats!

  8. sjm308 - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    word verification was "cutie" – they sure got that wrong

  9. SCNatsFan - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Espi, with DJ as his manager, will keep swinging for the fences like 70s sluggers did. Bunting might happen for a squeeze now that the new Davey discovered that.Not to hate on Johnson – or Riggs – but our current play shows it doesn't matter much who is at the helm of this ship, we are a team that will hover right around 500 for now.

  10. Steve M. - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    SC, hovering at .500 is fine as that is quite an improvement but I see this as a team that can be slightly better.Espi only helps himself and his mind -if- a bunt hit is available.I am just hoping that a day off yesterday cleared and some home cooking gets the Nats back on track!!!!By the way, I can't find any rumors for any teams interested in Jason Marquis or Livan Hernandez.

  11. Nats Outsider - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    DC Wonk–I'll be up there with you in nosebleed heaven (Sec 416, Row K). At least, I'll be there to start. If the baseball gods and the security gaurds are cooperative, I will move downstairs to sit among the swells after a few innings. :-)Actually, one of the joys of going to a Nats game is the realization that even the cheap seats (like those in the 400 level) are really pretty decent. It's no higher than the view the Nats give to Mark and other members of the press, and the angle can't be beat. Especially when the Nats run a special deal, like tonight, I have no complaints at all. Now, it we can win this %^$& game, I'll be very happy.

  12. TimDz - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    @Steve M.:I believe that the Tigers have Marquis on their radar. I read it (I believe in a couple of days ago I believe. Can't see getting much in return, since he won't even be a Type B free agent. WIth, you take it with the proverbial grain of salt…

  13. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    DC Wonk–I'll be up there with you in nosebleed heaven (Sec 416, Row K).OK — so that's at least five of us going tonight.I don't know the stadium well enough — but let's just pick a vendor, and meet there between, say, the 2d and 3rd innings. As I'm leaving the office soon, let me just throw out — say — The Union Pub, near Section 306. We can purchase some beers (my wife will like that ;-)I'll have a red Nats hat (with curly W), blue t-shirt, silver shorts, sneakers, mustache and non-trivial graying beard, wire-rim glasses.Anybody else want to meet there then? Hopefully we can say hello to each other, while watching JZ strike out the bottom of the Marlins order.Thoughts?

  14. P. Cole - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Career-NL pitchers never do well going to the AL. For Marquis's sake, I hope he's dealt to an NL contender.

  15. Oldguy - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    We will be in club seats tonight (Red Carpet credits) and hope we can reclaim the feeling we had a while back that we had an excellent chance to beat whomever was out there. Let's all enjoy this one! It's time.One note on DJ. Go back and look at the rosters and hitting/pitching stats on the teams he won with. Also, think about some of Vin Scully's comments on the Nats, and remember that he was around when Davey was managing the Dodgers. Not his best years–and he got fired there. I am less concerned about what Rizzo does in the next few days than I am about his plans for next year, starting at the top.

  16. Nats Outsider - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    I just got called into a meeting with my boss's boss's boss (!!) starting at 6:00. So I don't know when I'll get to the game. If I miss you guys, it's not because I'm a standoffish jerk.

  17. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Well, I don't understand the lack of response. But my wife and I will be near The Union Pub, near Section 306 between the 2d and 3d innings.Hope I see some of us there!

  18. A DC Wonk - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    … and I'll be carrying a small blue backpack, too. I'll be impossible to miss with all those clues!

  19. JaneB - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    I wish I were going tonight — I'd absolutely love to meet more Insiders. Relatives are about to arrive from Scotland. Is it terrible that I am hoping they might be enough jet lagged that I will get to watch some of the game? Because, I am.GYFNG!

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Wonk, thanks for the info. Might go tomorrow.

  21. Bowdenball - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    Mark:When there's a late scratch, is there some rule or other reason that managers don't adjust their entire lineups accordingly? Just lazy? Seems to me that having a guy like Greg Dobbs bat third while guys with much more power than him will bat 4th, 5th and 6th is just plain stupid. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

  22. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Wonk, I wouldn't take it personally. Could be that some folks won't be there tonight, or they will be but they haven't seen the message, or they will be but they prefer to meet up before games and stay in their seast keeping score once the game starts. (I fall in the first and last categories, fwiw.) Hope you have fun, either way!A DC Wonk said… Well, I don't understand the lack of response. But my wife and I will be near The Union Pub, near Section 306 between the 2d and 3d innings. Hope I see some of us there! July 26, 2011 5:21 PM

  23. natsfan1a - Jul 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    seast = seats. heh.

  24. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    And, if I'm not mistaken, they just had Jonny Gomes bobblehead night in Cincinnati!

  25. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Jonny Gomes… WHY???/

  26. NatsLady - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    oooo, Nix did not look good out there. That might be why Gomes.

  27. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    I would take a bat over a glove any day, the ants D is NOT the problem. Gomes' numbers are horrific this year. he is hitting .211/.336/.399…. meanwhile we are trading away a prospect who is having a great year!

  28. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Bernardina has gone into his second half slump just like last season.

  29. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    As I thought: were talking about it on the radio Saturday afternoon (ESPN Radio's game of the day) — it replicates some odd mannerism he has…

  30. NatsLady - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Well, that's ironic. Nix platooned with Gomes two years ago… Gomes won out. Described as a "fiery type player".

  31. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Either way… Gomes is 30 and can field. Nix is 30 he can hit. If it is indeed as simple as that, i take nix.

  32. NatsLady - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Wow, Oregon, color me impressed. I have enough trouble remembering when OUR bobblehead days are!

  33. waddu eye no - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    is the werth bobble head designed to strike out, too?

  34. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    zimm does NOT look good….

  35. Anonymous - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Game over. Welcome to last place.

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Looks like I picked the wrong night to give up pizza…

  37. CBinDC - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    So here we go again this year ……the culture of losing is alive and well and there is no hope in sight that there will be an end

  38. Candide - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Um, unless I'm mistaken, the Nats' last hit was in the first inning of Sunday's game.Ugh.

  39. SCNatsFan - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    I'll be amazed if the Nats don't get no hit this year. If I was a pitcher I'd hope if I was struggling that the Nats were a start in my near future.

  40. bups - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Doesn't Ray Knight ever stop talking? He's giving me a headache.

  41. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    So we in an effort to stay in the culture of losing trade for another low hitting no hitting outfielder……welcome Mr. Gomes you should fit right in here

  42. Candide - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    SCNats, doesn't it count as a no-hitter if you go 11+ innings over two games without a hit?Probably should…

  43. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Davey Johnson will be 9-15 after tonight.

  44. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. I said it before and I will repeat. Too many minor league players on this team. Including Mr Werth.

  45. Wally - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    I wonder if JZimm is starting to wear down. I think that he is at his career high in innings. Major league innings, anyway. Instead of throwing him straight through to Sep and then shutting him dow, maybe they ought to give him a couple weeks now on the DL and then let him pitch through the end of the season. Kind of a tired arm DL stint.Also solves the CMW roster spot for a few weeks.

  46. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    I understood that Riggs and Cat had a complicated plan for Z'nn that involved skipping starts and off-days, but Davey overruled it in favor of Zimm just pitching through until his limit was reached.

  47. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:20 AM


  48. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    OK so the team has not hit all year only Morse is above 300 Ray was saying that it is the approach that is killing them but it is NOT Ecksteins fault ….then who's is it and is it complete un-fixable ……I am confused as to the logic used here …..NOT one move this years has happened on the Minors to the Majors …..injury aside….why not ??

  49. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    We could always switch over to watch the Os but that is just as depressing.

  50. Navy Nats Fan - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    I'm pretty sure I just saw NatsLady on the telecast standing and cheering after Nix' home run. Sure looks like you!

  51. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    …That is why we don't need gomes

  52. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    So NOW in the Davy era …….The Nats lose more games ….get less hits …..make more errors ……starting pitching go fewer innings …..have a higher ERA …..blow more saves …….so how this working out for everybody

  53. Wally - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    One other point on JZ – he had been having a ridiculously low % of fly balls going for home runs. Something like 2 or 3 %, which couldn't continue.Not that it makes it any easier to watch

  54. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    That would be really cool if it was me, since I'm here at work in Burke. I have magical powers–now, if only I could cast a spell so our guys could HIT.

  55. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    So in the Davy era …..the National lose more games …….get less hits …..make more errors ……starters go fewer innings …..blow more saves ……so how this working out for everybody so far

  56. Unkyd - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    From the Gomes trad thread: dunbarbw said…Because our OF depth consists of Werth, Bernadina, Nix, Ankiel and Hairston. Against LHP he's hitting.333/.439/.537. He'll platoon with Nix and Rizzo may resign him for next year. The reliever (key word being reliever) is in Low A and does anyone think Rhinehart was going to be a factor longterm?———————–Makes sense to me, as a platoon option… We were hurting for RH OFs…

  57. Navy Nats Fan - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Okay – but at least go to and watch the in-game highlight and tell me that the woman at 15 seconds doesn't look a little like your quarter-inch by quarter-inch profile photo.

  58. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    whoops sorry did not think the first posted not trying to double up the misery

  59. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:51 AM

    Off to see the Emeralds play the Everett (Washington) AquaSox in a short-season A league game. I can only hope that when I return home I learn that Mr. Stairs has been released to make room for Mr. Gomes. I hold out little or no hope that the Nats will turn this game around. Cheers!

  60. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Ya it actually does look like natslady…

  61. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:56 AM


  62. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    WHY IS JAYSON WERTH SWINGING AT A 2-0 PITCH?!?!?!? Nolasco is CLEARLY losing it, just gave up 2 straight hits, and worth is slumping! i don't care how hard he hit it, HE GOT OUT… that is so frustrating-OnlyNatsFaninNJ

  63. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    Navy, I will do that when I get home. Maybe while I am listening in the car the Nats will win. Right???? Right.

  64. Navy Nats Fan - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    NatsLady, here's the link. And of course they'll come back and win! Unless Burnett lets this run score….

  65. Navy Nats Fan - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:15 AM


  66. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    I STRONGLY DISLIKE SEAN BURNETT! Just put in Clippard and let em hand it off to storen. i don't care how many innings clipart he has to pitch.

  67. JaneB - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    I love them. I still love them. Won't change a thing . But I still love them.

  68. Janner33 - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    We could make a drinking game out of Knight's commentary. One shot every time you hear the phrase "When i was a hitting coach" or "When I was a manager". Double shot for "What i look for as a hitting coach AND as a manager"It would at least make this game more fun.

  69. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    WOW!! has it gotten so bad that the announcers are happy when the ball is hit hard even though its not a hit? Davey has instilled a losing attitude in this team. Zimm lets 3 pitches go right down the middle and just stands there. Are they even trying???? Gotta blame the manager. Rizzo really blew it with Riggleman

  70. Exposremains - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    I'm wishing some team is interested in H rod. so we can trade him for something decent. I cant watch him.

  71. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Janner 33 why you picking on Ray Night. He is the only one who calls this team out for what it really is. A MESS. headed for another year in the tank!!!! Move them back to Canada

  72. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Ok so you say can not get as bad as 2008 or 2009 or 2010 and damn if they do not live up to those standards ….and keep saying it can not get that bad …NOT THAT BAD and they do ……I not sure if I am going to be happier I should change my standard of expectation …..It is back to that CAN NOT BE AS BAD AS THE 62 METS standard

  73. Janner33 - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    @Anon 9.49pm… Uhhh, trying to inject some humour in a painful game. Perhaps some misguided anger on your part. But i wouldn't know. I'm 8 shots in.

  74. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    This bunch goes 2-7 on this homestand. Loses over 90 games and once again finishes in the toilet. I see no forward progress. ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    janner your correct. I am just frustrated. I was actually looking forward to watching game tonight and 3 lousy hits later I am just fed up

  76. JaneB - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    I wish there was a crystal ball that could tell us why HRod is good sometimes and a mess most of the time, and why Werth can't hit anymore. I really do.

  77. Janner33 - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    @anon 9.59pm. Not to worry. Just as frustrated here as well. The team hasn't been in sync since they blew that 8-0 lead against the Cubbies. The hustle is there, but the intensity and focus have vanished.

  78. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    I can't believe that Desmond who has just about the worst hitting stats in MLB all year has not once changed his batting stance, or pre AB routine. Why not tinker with it like Cal Ripken used to when he was in a slump? What's the worst that could happen? he has the worst balance of any slap hitter I've ever seen. Please we need a hitting coach that actually does something and makes adjustments with these guys! Desmond awful. Espi must lead the league in swing a misses despite his highlights.. Ramos has so many weak AB's.. Nobody but Morse is progressing.

  79. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Guess it does look a little like me, minus a bunch of years and pounds!! Nice looking gal.

  80. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    At least there is no Debbie Taylor so that is positive

  81. Nats Outsider - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    I left the game at the end of the 8th inning. That's something I *never* do, but in this case, it was a mercy. I have never seen the team so flat. It's like they didn't want to have to come to work today. Davey Johnson may be a legend, but so far he hasn't shown that he knows much about how to organize and inspire this team. Yeah, it's early, but the Nats have pretty much stunk up the house since he went into the dugout.The best thing for me tonight was the opportunity to meet DC Wonk, and Mrs. Wonk ๐Ÿ˜‰

  82. CBinDC - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    I was wrong I thought she was not there still and then she asks the stupidest question yet … moving Lance Nix to center? Really how did she gets this job and why is she allowed to dominate the post questions ????

  83. NatsLady - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Just read the story about the Harper/Robinson comparison. FAIL (and, not one but two guys saying it to the SI reporter). Reminds me of the old "Natinals". Just keep your mouths SHUT.

  84. dryw - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    Hey 1a,Just got home and am reading back comments. I'm with you in the before/after game meeting so I can keep score! I'm in sec. 313 and would love to meet some of y'all in person sometime!

  85. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    Davey Johnson may be a legend, but so far he hasn't shown that he knows much about how to organize and inspire this team. Yeah, it's early, but the Nats have pretty much stunk up the house since he went into the dugout.And if that ends up being the case he won't be back next year. Remember, Riggleman quit he wasn't fired. Riggleman himself admitted that he had developed a very unsavory attitude because of the contract he agreed to and signed. That's completely and utterly bogus.Stop with the comparisons now. Johnson is it until the do the requisite manager search in the offseason. You'll just have to deal with it.

  86. Anonymous - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Anon @11:38 said, "Johnson is it until the[y] do the requisite manager search in the offseason. You'll just have to deal with it."Of course we have to deal with it. But that doesn't change my point at all. The team has looked lackluster and, well, tired. There was absolutely no "zip" in their play. That's worth some discussion here, and more importantly, in DJ's office.

  87. flynnie - Jul 27, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    There were times in his youth that Gomes, his mother Michelle and older brother Joey, lived literally hand-to-mouth. Occasionally homeless, the Gomes family would sometimes have to spend the night in a shelter. "It's two totally different aspects of life — a hard time in baseball vs. the hard time in life," Gomes said. "The hard time in life is you don't know where your next meal is going to be." Gomes' pride in his hometown of Petaluma stems from the citizens' generosity. His family often had friends give them a place to sleep and meals to eat. "We were surrounded by great people. Our friends took us in all the time," Gomes said. "I never wanted to go to the shelter. Sometimes it was the last option. I felt like that was rock bottom going there. My mom would go way more than we would, because we could stay at our friends' houses and stuff. "We rallied together. Talking about it, it might seem like, 'Oh my gosh,' or a tough story. It really wasn't while you're there. It was tough, but it was just the hand we were dealt. We just rolled with it. We didn't drop our heads and feel sorry for ourselves."His baseball talent would eventually lift Gomes out of poverty. Drafted in the 18th round by the Rays in 2001, he debuted in the Majors with Tampa Bay in 2003. Brother Joey is also a professional ballplayer and just finished his season with an independent league team in Schaumburg, Ill. That didn't mean a full escape from scary life-altering moments. In 1997 while in high school, Gomes was a backseat passenger in a car accident that killed his best friend, Adam Westcott, who was seated next to him in the car. Gomes, who has numerous tattoos, carries the initials "A.W." on one of them. On Christmas Eve 2002 after he turned 23, Gomes suffered a heart attack even though he was in exemplary health and had good habits. He didn't realize it because he had indigestion, and stopped breathing 27 hours later. An emergency angioplasty procedure to unclog an artery saved his life. Gomes hasn't forgotten Petaluma and has the town's 707 area code on his gloves and shoes. He also wears T-shirts in the clubhouse that affectionately say "Petalocos 707" on the front and has passed them out to several teammates. "I had so many chances with the fork in the road to take a wrong turn," Gomes said. "It's the same in baseball. You can go 0-for-8 or 0-for-12. Instead of trying to nip it in the bud and fixing it, you can start swinging harder and trying to hit that three-run homer when no one is on base." Having had odds stacked against him so many times, Gomes takes nothing for granted — ever.



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