Chicago Cubs News: The presence of Yan Gomes continues to be crucial
Justin Steele sat in front of the media Wednesday night at Wrigley Field and sang the praises of batterymate Yan Gomes.
""He's just an unbelievable human being. He's an unbelievable leader in the clubhouse - I'm always looking to him for information about baseball, and even like in everyday life." "- Justin Steele on Yan Gomes
The Chicago Cubs had just blown out the rival St. Louis Cardinals 10-4 as Steele improved to 6-0, sporting a 1.82 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in eight starts. While he did see his streak of starts of giving up two earned runs or less snapped, he still threw a quality start with three earned over six innings. Much of the story Wednesday however was about the veteran catcher Gomes.
Gomes had returned to action after getting hit in the back of the head on a backswing in Washington on May 1st. He promptly went 3-3 with a home run, he is hitting .324 with six home runs and a .938 OPS on the season.
The Cubs are 13-5 when Gomes starts in a game, with a pitching staff ERA of 3.04 and a .210 average when he is behind the dish. Last season the team boasted a 3.66 ERA with him behind the plate, which was the lowest among all their catchers. The team has made it known by both their play on the field and what they say to the media that Gomes' presence is incredibly important. Those comments by Steele were not media fluff, they were 100% sincere.
Gomes has been in the Majors for over a decade now and has seen it all, including a World Series championship in 2019 with the Nationals. He is going above and beyond sharing his experiences as a player and his teammates are responding to it. There could be some similarities drawn to how David Ross conducted himself as a team leader in 2016, but with less of a "show" to it.
The hope is he can help continue to get the most out of his teammates. It's little things like this that can go such a long way.