MIAMI – The loud sounds blasting from the Rays dugout and echoing around mostly empty Marlins Park in the second inning Wednesday showed the smart alecks that, yes, Carlos Gomez could indeed still hit something, taking out his latest frustrations on a couple of water coolers.
But that was about the only noise the Rays made, losing 3-0 to the Marlins in a matinee featuring two teams that looked very much like they played 16 innings over 5½ hours the night before.
That made the holiday a bit of a dud for the Rays, who came off an impressive 8-1 homestand against the contending Yankees, Nationals and Astros, then lost two of three to the bottom-feeding Marlins.
Whether Gomez deserves to still be in the Rays lineup or even on their roster given his lack of production — .195, 7 homers, 17 RBIs, .593 OPS — seems to be a subject of daily social media debate.
But today the talk, posts and retweets are about his second-inning tantrum after not being awarded first base following being hit by a pitch on his hand while trying to bunt, then feeling a worse sting in striking out.
"We are human. We can get mad. It doesn't mean we are not professional,'' Gomez said. "It's that moment. I've been doing this for so long, sometimes you get a moment you get frustrated.''
Gomez took his bat first to a cooler on the bench, and after getting in enough swings there, unleashed a pretty good punch at another, sending water, ice and cups flying.
Which one did he get better?
"I don't know,'' Gomez said. "When I'm angry, I'm not thinking really well. If they fine me for this, I've got enough money to pay.''
As for his viral video?
"I don't care about the internet,'' he said. "I just care that I have to let it out at that moment, and that's it. That's not going to affect me the rest of the game.''
Several Rays who were on the bench at the time declined to comment on Gomez's outburst, sticking to a sort of clubhouse code.
"I didn't turn around,'' centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier. "When guys have their moments, you kind of sit there. He wanted to get that out, and he did. Those coolers paid for it. That's what happens sometimes in this game. I'm not mad. You've got to get it out of you. Take those frustrations, and today was the cooler's day to pay the price. Got a little splash from it, but I wasn't offended.''
Standing at shortstop, Miami's J.T. Riddle couldn't help but notice.
"He squared it up pretty good it sounded like,'' he said. "You look over and see water flying up, and you think it's probably a water cooler he's taking down. Some people handle their frustrations in different ways.''
It turned out be a frustrating end to the series for the Rays.
They lost on a 10th-inning walkoff Monday after rallying to tie in the ninth against the Marlins' best reliever, paid the price of having to play 16 innings (and losing reliever, clutch hitter and adventurous baserunner Vidal Nuno to injury) after blowing an early 4-0 lead on Tuesday. then turned around 12½ hours later to get throttled by Miami pitchers Jose Urena (his first start off the disabled list), Drew Rucinski, Elieser Hernandez and Brad Ziegler, managing only four hits.
Their best chance probably came in the second with the first two on, but Gomez struck out — as you might have heard — and Willy Adames grounded into a double play.
"We just couldn't get the bats going for whatever reason,'' manager Kevin Cash said. But one of those, he insisted, was not fatigue from Tuesday's marathon, nor the residual of resting veterans Matt Duffy, Adeiny Hechavarria and Wilson Ramos. "I don't think it's that,'' he said. "Their guys pitched well.''
The Marlins weren't doing much more against Matt Andriese, who threw the first two innings; Ryan Weber, who was called up, worked a solid bullpen-saving five ("That was really all I could have asked for out there"), and then sent back down; and Hunter Wood, who has impressed in two outings since returning.
The Marlins got two in the sixth off Weber when Riddle knocked in a run with a triple over the head of Kiermaier, who admitted he pulled up to avoid running hard into the wall. Riddle then scored on an infield grounder. And they added another when Riddle homered off Wood in the eighth.
"The effort was fine,'' Cash said. "I'm not pleased to come in here and lose the series.''
Marc Topkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.