The San Francisco Giants have had some tough losses recently. Those losses have included mental errors on the field and even off the field.
In a week that included closer Hunter Strickland showing contrition with reporters about his terrible decision to let his frustrations out on a door, it is nice to see that his teammates are following his lead.
Chris Stratton made a mistake tonight that possibly cost the Giants the game. The Giants made other mistakes, failed to score more than two runs, and other pitchers allowed runs, but it is Stratton who put the loss on his shoulders.
It was the sixth inning with the game tied at one.
"“The biggest play of the game is me not getting over to first base there,” Stratton said. “My thought was it’s probably going to be foul there, but Buster made a heck of a play and you just can’t be late.”“It ended up losing us the game,” Stratton said. “That one is 100 percent on me.”"
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants: Reliever Reyes Moronta clears outright waivers
- SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal
- SF Giants call on veteran LHP Scott Kazmir for big start against Padres
- SF Giants: Update on Alex Dickerson’s rehab assignment
- Atlanta claims SF Giants C Chadwick Tromp off waivers
After the Strickland comments and hearing from Stratton tonight, it is clear that these young pitchers are growing up before our eyes.
It is easy to talk to reporters after a win and not too hard to talk to reporters after a loss if you’ve played well. However, there is nothing harder than facing reporters after a loss when your mistake is the reason for the loss.
Not all players have shown they can handle it when a reporter questions the decision making process of a young player who made a mistake in front of everyone.
It took a lot for Strickland to talk about his bad decision and face the music and it was impressive to see Stratton stand in front of those same reporters tonight and put the loss on him.
We’ve seen the same from Madison Bumgarner, who clearly learned from them how to talk to reporters after a tough luck loss.
Stratton, I am sure learned from afar last season when Bumgarner spoke to teammates and then reporters about his infamous dirt bike accident.
Mistakes happen, even self inflicted ones that cost the team. For Bumgarner and Strickland, they cost the team months of their ability to contribute on the field.
Tonight, a mistake may have cost the Giants a win. Instead of looking to make excuses or putting the blame on someone else, Stratton stood up and said it was his mistake and the loss was his fault.
That kind of leadership in the face of adversity is how you take the next step in the locker room with your teammates, the media, and the fans.
Had the Giants scored eight runs, this article doesn’t even get written and the mistake almost goes unnoticed.
However, it is from the tough losses that we learn who is willing to put on their gear and go play the next game and who shies away from the challenge.