Jeanmar Gomez – “Ride the Lightning” (1984)
Gomez, a pitcher who we highlighted here at TBOH during the summer, was a revelation for the Phillies last year. Signed to a minor league deal, he opened the season with the team and became their most reliable reliever outside of Giles. He performed exactly as the team needed, whenever they needed it.
“Ride the Lightning” is just like that within the Metallica catalogue. It does a great job of being what it is – a metal album. The songs are all well-composed, and there really is a consistency to the album that fits nicely.
Still, it’s a better bridge than a standalone. It segues nicely from the thrash of the first album to the all-time classic that would follow. As one critic put it, and I’m paraphrasing, it was Metallica stretching itself to see if another great album was still in there, while still remaining true to its roots.
Gomez is the same thing. While he could probably get the job done as a closer, it’s best to let him act as he is – a guy who can fill a lot of other bullpen roles. Let someone else get the numbers and accolades. He’ll continue to do the dirty work of bridging that gap to the person eventually named the closer by Mackanin in late March.
Next: Phillies Pen Lacks Metal: MASTER OF PUPPETS