Giants reliever Hunter Strickland had a memorable night, even if it was one he’d probably like to forget.
Things were already unraveling in the sixth inning due to Bruce Bochy probably sticking with Jake Peavy too long and Jean Machi not putting out the fire immediately, allowing the Royals to score the go-ahead run. Javier Lopez did his job in retiring lefty Alex Gordon, but then Strickland entered in a tough spot: two men on and one man out with the Giants down a run.
And he clearly didn’t have it. A wild pitch (nerves?) and a two-run double later (more nerves?0 he was facing Omar Infante, who is not a serious home run threat. Of course he left him a big fat pitch over the plate and it went out of the yard. Now, Strickland has allowed a good number of home runs this postseason. That’s a big reason why, maybe, it’s not a good idea to call on him with runners on base. Either way, if the young and inexperienced Strickland has experience with anything, it’s with watching opposing hitters take their home run trots. Strickland, however, acted like he’d never seen such a thing before and started jawing at Sal Perez, who was waiting at home to congratulate Infante. The highlight, embedded with the players talking about the little dustup:
Strickland blamed “miscommunication.” Whatever makes you feel better dude. You were the only one communicating, and what you were telling the world was that you lost your cool after letting the game get totally out of hand.
He’s young, and as Bruce Bochy noted in that clip, he’s intense. And with stuff like his, he’ll eventually be the kind of guy who is routinely called on to get his team out of jams. But for the moment, however, he has played and ranted his way out of the World Series. Or at least he should have.