Most pitchers would be pretty happy with 2 runs in nine innings of work. But Mike Leake’s stellar start ended in the ninth inning when he served up a towering 2-run pinch-hit homer to Bryan LaHair. That one insidious swing of the bat tied the game and broke up Leake’s would-have-been complete-game shutout.
And geez, you’ve got to feel for the kid. Seeing him sitting there in the dugout after the hit you could just feel the shock and trauma, not yet turned to self-flagellation and regret. But it’s coming. Oh, it’s coming.
Chris Welsh said that that pitch will haunt Leake, keeping him from getting to sleep and causing him to wake up in the middle of the night.
But we know it goes beyond that, don’t we? The human brain loves those little gems of regret and brings them out to fondle them, like perverse trophies, at the most inopportune times. Whether it’s a mistake pitch at just the wrong moment or that time in fifth grade you unwittingly asked the kid whose father had just died what he’d planned for Fathers’ Day, our brains choose the worst possible moments–during a boring meeting, in the shower, at the altar–to drag these trophies out and shame us to such a severe degree that we just want to jump off a cliff.
But don’t do that, Mike Leake. It was a great outing, even if your brain will conveniently ignore that part.