MILWAUKEE -- When Carlos Gomez stepped to the plate in the ninth inning Monday night, he saw Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon playing back behind the base. Gomez's 18-game hitting streak and Major League-high 35-game on-base streak were on the line, and he thought about dropping a bunt and trying to outrun the throw to first base.
Instead, Gomez battled through a 12-pitch at-bat against Nationals closer Tyler Clippard, working the count full and fouling off six pitches before striking out on a fastball in the Brewers' 3-0 loss.
"You see I had the opportunity in the ninth inning with third base playing way back, but I'm going to defend [the streak] like a man," Gomez said. "Just be me and enjoy the game. I had the opportunity to drop a bunt, but late in the game, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to try to drive the ball. I had a great at-bat, and I think that last at-bat made me feel better for tomorrow."
The 35-game streak of reaching base will go down as the sixth-longest in Brewers history. Gomez was one game short of tying Ronnie Belliard's streak from 1999. It was by far the longest streak of the outfielder's career; his previous high had been 16 games, set early last season. His previous career-high hitting streak of 14 was set in that same span.
The entire Brewers lineup struggled against Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, and Gomez was no exception, posting an 0-for-4 line with two groundouts, a flyout and the ninth-inning strikeout.
The first three at-bats came against Gonzalez, and facing Clippard wasn't much easier.
"I thought that was a good at-bat," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I was hoping we could get him on base and maybe start something. They have good arms coming out of the bullpen. It's not like it's a let-up. Guys come out of the bullpen with good velocity and good breaking balls."
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less