You hear it all the time in sports: There are certain players who you hate going against but who you love having on your team.

Carlos Gomez is one of those players.

“That’s exactly who he is,” Astros pitcher Scott Kazmir said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He’s a guy with high energy. There’s a couple guys I played with in the past that ranks up there. He wears a lot of emotion on his shoulder but is a great guy to have in your corner.”

Gomez caused the benches to clear during the Astros’ 15-1 win over the Yankees in New York on Tuesday, this after flipping his bat and acting disgusted after flying out when his team had a 9-0 lead. Joe Girardi and some of his players took offense to that, which emptied the benches.

“I didn’t get a chance to see what happened right after he hit the ball,” Kazmir said. “It was just unfortunate how everything happened. Tempers flared. Sometimes that stuff happens, so it was just unfortunate.”

If the Yankees were mad that they were losing to the Astros, well, a lot of teams have felt that way this season. Houston (70-57) has been in first place in the AL West for much of the year and leads the Rangers (64-60) and Angels (64-61) by 4.5 and 5 games, respectively.

“We’re excited,” Kazmir said. “It feels like it’s our time. It does. Everyone that’s come up through the ranks, all the draft picks – we have them here now and everyone’s making an impact. There’s so many guys that you could talk about that are doing well and really progressing in their game just by getting the experience – that little experience in the big leagues. So our spirits are high. We feel like we have a team to do some damage.”

Kazmir, 31, was acquired by the Astros from the Athletics before the deadline. He is 2-3 in six starts with Houston, despite a 2.41 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.

“As a starter, you can only control what you can,” Kazmir said. “I think that just keeping your team in the ball game every start you go out there is the goal. Whatever happens as far as wins and losses, that’s stuff that you can’t control. I feel like with what we have right now, as long as our starters keep our guys in the ball game, we’ll be just fine.”

While the Rangers and Angels are within striking distance in the AL West, Kazmir said the Astros aren’t looking back. Rather, they’re focused on what’s ahead: potentially reaching the postseason for the first time since 2005.

“We just need to focus on ourselves,” Kazmir said. “Once you start looking at scoreboards – I’ve played on teams where you’re almost watching the scoreboards at the fence instead of watching the game because you’re looking behind you. I think that’s not the way to approach it. I feel like we have the team to go far, and we just got to focus on ourselves.”


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