Did you all see the movie Tin Cup? It's the one where Kevin Costner is a golfer. Remember the end? (spoiler alert.) (Do I still need to say spoiler alert?) He's golfing in the US Open, with the lead coming up to a tough final hole where he has to shoot over water. He takes his shot from the green, but it's short and rolls back into the drink. Oh well. He just has to move up to take a drop and make par. Probably still wins. But, no. That's not what he does. He's stubborn. He's going to try again. Right from where he was. He didn't care that he just failed. He was going to get right back on that horse and try again. This time he would do it.
The ball rolled right back into the water when he took that shot too. And the next one. And the one after that. And so on. Until finally he holed out his last ball for a 12. He didn't win the Open.
I thought of that last night when Craig Kimbrel came into the game. He had a terrible game the night before. Once again, he struggled in a non-save situation. For whatever reason, he just hasn't done well in those appearances this season. He faced four batters, and they all scored. Not a good game at all.
So, apparently, he went to John Farrell before last night's game, and said he wanted to pitch. No matter the situation, he wanted the ball in the ninth. He was going to get right back on that horse. He was going to do it, dammit.
Thankfully, he did it. But, it wasn't smooth. And, I don't know about you, I certainly feared a Tin Cup moment as he put a couple runners on base. Was he going to come in and try to prove to himself that he could do it, only to fail miserably again? Then what? Would he have to try and do it again tomorrow? Would it ever end?
But, it did end. I sometime wonder if controlling damage might actually be even more uplifting. He knows he can do it, even if he doesn't strike out every batter he faces. He can pitch himself out of jams. Even in non-save situations. He stood up against his demon, and stared it down.
And he didn't shoot a twelve.
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