Baseball can be a game of inches, they say, and I guess it’s a game of key pitches as well.
Some you want back and wish you never had thrown.
Jeremy Guthrie felt that way after Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Seattle. His slider on a 2-1 count to Matt Tuiasosopo in the second inning was belted for a three-run homer.
Sometimes after a game, pitchers lament the location of a pitch, but this time Guthrie was unhappy with the selection of the pitch he threw.
“I second guessed it when I threw it. I shouldn’t have thrown it, I didn’t feel that pitch in that moment. I had already shaken it two or three times in the inning.
“I shouldn’t have thrown the pitch. I should have stepped off, taken my breath, not gotten in a rush and threw the pitch I was more comfortable with. Sometimes you get lucky, you throw the pitch you don’t feel and the guy pops it up. Other times, you throw it in a good quality spot.”
The three-run homer marred an otherwise pretty solid outing. Guthrie allowed five earned runs and eight hits over eight innings.
He threw 110 pitches, but one of them ruined his night.
“That was one of those times I didn’t feel it and I didn’t execute it either. If it would have been thrown it in a good spot, it would have been a different result. If I could have thrown it low and away, I’m sure we had a much different result. My fault for doing that.”
Matt Wieters, who hit a two-run homer, had his take on that slider as well.
“Looking back, it probably was the wrong pitch, but you know, he didn’t quite locate it as well as he normally does. Maybe we could have gone fastball away there and gotten a ground ball.
“A slider is a pitch where, if it’s not located perfectly, is a good pitch to drive. If we don’t locate it, it can be a home run pitch. I’ll still feel comfortable calling it again for him, because he has a good one.”
The outing ended a string of six straight quality starts for Guthrie, whose ERA was 1.52 in that stretch.
“It came down to a couple of pitches, our team really battled and it’s unfortunate I couldn’t pitch better. We put five runs on the board and fought back. He threw well and we still scored four runs off him.
“I felt all right. The slider wasn’t there for me but the fastball command was better and my change-up was pretty consistent. A few big hits for them and that was the difference.”
The loss snapped Guthrie’s three-game win streak. He is now 7-12, 3.97 on the year.
And, for the second night in a row, Tuiasosopo hit a three-run bomb to help Seattle win a game.
“He hit the exact same pitch yesterday. He proved he could hit it back-to-back nights and it’s my fault for throwing it there,” Guthrie said.