Adrian Gonzalez is going deep.
At least that’s what he told reporters last night following the Red Sox’ 2-1 loss in Tampa Bay.
After sharing his frustration with home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, Gonzalez was asked if his issues might stem from his power outage at the plate. Gonzalez, who hit 27 home runs for Boston last season, his lowest total since 2006, has hit only two this year in 168 plate appearances. The first baseman denied that had anything to do with it, then made a guarantee for tonight.
“I’ll start hitting home runs,” he said. “I’ll hit a homer tomorrow.”
As ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald points out, “Gonzalez made a similar statement last season and made good on his prediction.”
There you have it. Sox are already up 1-0.
“That’s good stuff,” David Ortiz said. “I can’t wait. I know my piñata killer is going to be fine. I’ve got money on him. I’ve got money on the killer because I know that piñata at some point is going to drop down.”
Gonzalez began his postgame discussion wondering about questionable calls by Wendelstedt, saying, “How are you supposed to have a professional at-bat with these umpires nowadays? Gosh. The first pitch in my last at-bat wasn’t even close. You’re up there, trying to have a professional at-bat and look for a pitch to hit and that’s called?
“So it puts you in swing mode, the guy throws a good split and all of a sudden you’re 0-2. It should have been 1-0 and then he probably doesn’t throw a split. Unbelievable.
“In that at-bat I went up there looking for a fastball middle away. I got a fastball way away. You can’t swing if it’s not a strike. You’re looking for a pitch middle away, and it’s away and you know you can’t swing because it’s off and you’re 0-1.”
Gonzalez is on pace for only nine home runs and 88 runs batted in, drastic numbers that would clearly be career lows.