Update April 20, 2013. This was the headline written by Alex Pavlovic, Bay Area News Group, after the Giants 4-3 loss to the Cubs last week-end.
“ROMO’S BLOWN SAVE DOOMS SF”
And right next to the ridiculous headline is a photo of Giants center fielder Angel Pagan missing Starlin Castro’s “game-winning double “. I wrote a blog September 1, 2010 that talks about this notion of one bad play losing the game. It just don’t work that way folks. Take a look and see what you think.
“Making the Error that Loses the Game” Original Post 9/1/10 By: Garlic Fries and Baseball”
I’m thinking of Cody Ross in the SF Giants loss to Colorado on Monday. You can place blame and point a finger to a specific play and/or player in any game, especially if it’s in the last couple innings. But think about it. What about that last swing in a strikeout that should have been a hit in any inning (this applies to both teams). Or how about all the runners left on base, in any inning? What if? If only! Take a look at one of the innings in this game. I chose the 2nd inning but it could have been any. Colorado Top of 2nd Jonathan Sanchez pitching for San Francisco COL SFO M Mora grounded out to shortstop. T Helton walked.R Spilborghs grounded into double play, third to second to first, T Helton out at second. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors San Francisco – Bottom of 2nd Jorge De La Rosa pitching for Colorado COL SFO C Ross struck out swinging. P Sandoval singled to left. J Uribe grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first, P Sandoval out at second. 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors
So let’s assume Helton hit a home run instead of walked. Then Cody’s “error” in the 9th doesn’t have the significance it would have had if the game hadn’t been tied. Or suppose Uribe, instead of hitting into a double play, slammed that hit right between 3rd base and the SS and now they have a runner on 1st and 2nd and Sanchez gets to bat and hits a line drive single. This brings the guy on 2nd home and bingo! That error out in right field in the top of the 9th isn’t quite so significant either. MLB.com has some great shots of the game and also the play by play if you’re interested. What’s important to note here is the only error in the 9th inning is given to Sanchez on his throw to 3rd and not to Ross on the flyball to right field that caught some miracle of flight after a broken bat went sailing along with the hit. I woke up thinking about all this as I reflected on the unusually low attendance of 31,000 fans at the game yesterday, the night after the Cody Ross incident. Giants fans are not known to be fair weather fans so it caught my attention. But I’ll bet you odds there will be another big crowd tonight at AT&T Park, because even after the incredibly disappointing loss to Arizona on Monday, the SF Giants won and the San Diego Padres lost last night! Hope is alive and the fans will return again and again to watch their beloved Giants and all it will take is one great play from Cody Ross (Sanchez already provided his) and all is forgiven and forgotten. It’s kinda like hitting a 150 yard drive off the 1st tee at Pasatiempo. Nothing else really matters the rest of the day. It only takes one play folks……and that’s what’s so great about baseball! Don’t you just love it? “
GFBB Note: Cody Ross went on to be instrumental in post season play and the Giants World Series win in 2010. Just goes to show you …..