Mistakes matter: Joe Girardi's mental error helps Cleveland pull off epic comeback

2021年9月27日 by 没有评论

null null Baseball null Want to know the secret to winning in October? Don’t make mistakes. That’s the simple truth, the essential element of playoff baseball.  Do. Not. Make. Mistakes.Before the playoffs started, I asked David Ross, who was part of two World Series winners (Boston 2013, Cubs 2016), what he thought was the secret to winning in October. He started off talking about momentum and starting pitching and how bullpens play such a huge role in today’s game. And then he paused for a moment and spoke the most basic truth.  BENDER: Cleveland's magical momentum points toward bigger moment“The one thing I’ll tell you is every detail matters in the playoffs. Every mistake is magnified," he said. "Nine times out of 10, the team that plays the cleanest game, without mistakes, is going to be the one that comes out ahead in a series, and in the playoffs in general.”Mistakes negate pregame advantages. Mistakes erase in-game leads. Mistakes are stunning and heartbreaking. Most of the time, when we think of playoff mistakes, we think of the players. We think of Taijuan Walker leaving a 3-1 pitch to Justin Turner over too much of the plate in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS. Turner smoked a three-run homer to give the Dodgers an early lead, and L.A. went on to win, 9-5. We think of Anthony Rendon, fumbling the ball when attempting to throw Javier Baez out at first in the sixth inning of that NLDS. Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was throwing a no-hitter at the time, and the Cubs capitalized on the opportunity. Back-to-back singles with two outs gave Chicago a 2-0 lead in a game it won, 3-0.MORE: Three takeaways from Cleveland's Game 2 win“It’s definitely tough. It’s part of the game. It’s an error,” Rendon said after the game. “It’s like, it’s a car accident, not a car purpose. You know, it’s a mistake. We’re human. It’s definitely tough because Stras was pitching his tail off, and they happened to get two hits after that.”But the mistake from Friday’s four-game day that has the most legs? That was made by Yankees manager Joe Girardi. His wasn’t a physical mistake. His was a mental mistake, a miscalculation that quickly escalated into a nightmare for Yankees fans. A quick recap: Girardi’s club held an 8-3 lead in the sixth inning of Game 2. With two out and two on, pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall faced an 0-2 count when reliever Chad Green threw a pitch a little up and a little in. Home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna immediately signaled that the pitch hit Chisenhall in the hand and sent him toward first base. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez seemed to be telling the bench that the ball actually hit the knob of the bat, instead of Chisenhall’s hand. Girardi, though, didn’t challenge the call. Chisenhall went to first base to load the bases and the next batter, Francisco Lindor, hit a grand slam. Whole new ballgame at 8-7. Cleveland tied it in the eighth and eventually won in the 13th. Replays showed, clearly, that the ball hit the knob of the bat. Sanchez caught the ball, which means that instead of Chisenhall trotting to first base and extending the inning for Lindor, that should have been strike three, and the inning should have been over. So, why not at least challenge that call, in that situation? The Yankees had two of them. And to win this game, all they really had to do was stay out of a big inning. Girardi’s answer after the game did not sit well with Yankees fans. This is unreal. pic.twitter.com/e6O7kB3HkL— Andrew Gargano (@andrewjgargano) October 7, 2017If Green gets Lindor out — he had faced him four times previously, with two walks and two strikeouts — then this is just a footnote. It still would have been a mistake not to challenge, though. And because Green obviously did not get Lindor out, it’s become a black mark on Girardi’s playoff resume. That’s not to say this mistake defines Girardi, by any stretch of the imagination. The error by Rendon doesn’t define one of the best third basemen in baseball. The meatball Walker threw to Turner does not define one of the better young starting pitchers in the NL.But those mistakes did determine the outcome o

f playoff baseball games. And in October, that’s about the only thing that matters. FAGAN: Which team faces most pressure to win World Series?As you can imagine, most of the postgame press conference focused on that moment. Girardi was asked about his emotions when he found out that the ball did, in fact, hit the knob of the bat. His answer, from transcripts: “It's probably about — it's when Lindor is coming up to bat, in a sense, that we're alerted, and it's frustrating, you know, because if he calls that he's not hit, then nothing ever happens. And maybe they replay it. I don't know. But he made no signal that he was hit. The umpire thought he was hit. I know Gary said it. We looked at it. We had no super slow-mo at that time. Again, I'm going to reiterate, I think about keeping a pitcher in rhythm. Maybe I'll think different now.”That last sentence is good. Because the only thing worse than making one mistake in the playoffs is making the same mistake again. UPDATE: Girardi spoke with reporters on Saturday. He was asked if, in retrospect, he should have challenged the call. His response was clear: "Yeah. I mean, I think you can second guess yourself. But here's the process that I go through. Brett Weber (the replay guy) has been so good at what he does that when he tells me that something's not inconclusive, I believe him, because he's been so good. Now, knowing that I had two challenges, in hindsight, yeah, I wish I would have challenged it. But he never -- he never got that video clip that -- he never got that angle. He never got that super slow-mo. And, yeah, I should have challenged it, now that I think about it. But here's the thing. If it isn't overturned and we're wrong and then Chad struggles after that, do you feel like I screwed him up? You know, those are the things that you have to go through. Now, I wish I would have challenged it."So you can bet, Yankees fans, he won't make that mistake again.