There are two sides to every story. Take last night’s Phillies-Braves game, for example.
Here’s what Atlanta manager Bobby Cox had to say about the game:
"We gave it away," said manager Bobby Cox, whose Braves had won 18 of their previous 22 home games before losing this important series opener. "We didn’t lose it, we gave it [away]. Bad base-running, dropped a popup. …
And here’s what Phillies closer Brad Lidge had to say about the game:
"If you want things in the season to go good, you need to have some of those ‘Force be With You’ moments," Lidge said. "The Force was with us tonight."
The Braves had a 2-1 lead against Philadelphia and were one out from a win when second baseman Kelly Johnson inexplicably dropped a popup in the ninth inning. The ball squirted from his glove as a stunned crowd of 34,074 watched Eric Bruntlett race from second base to score the tying run for the Phillies, who scored twice in the 10th and hung on to win.
The Braves had won 18 of their previous 22 home games before losing last night. Atlanta almost came back to tie the game in the bottom of the tenth inning, but Shane Victorino threw out Yunel Escobar at the plate to end it.
Here’s what Lidge had to say about the play:
"(The last play) was so much fun to watch from my perspective. At first I thought there was no way, and then all of a sudden this absolute pea-rod comes in from Shane, on the money and everything. It just was perfect."
And here’s what Escobar had to say:
"I wasn’t thinking of going home," Escobar said through a translator. "But I saw the throw; that’s why I made the decision."
It’s unclear what Escobar saw that made him think it was a good idea to head for home. As AJC beat writer David O’Brien points out, "it was obvious from the time he took off for the plate that Escobar was going to be out, barring a terrible throw."
And Victorino’s throw was far from terrible. It was a freaking pea-rod!