OK, long before Erik Gonzalez forgot where second base was on his way to botching a crucial double play, I was ticked off.
Earlier in the game with the offense struggling, Erik Gonzalez went 2-0 against Brandon McCarthy. At that moment McCarthy had thrown almost as many balls as strikes but had only given up one hit.
So you are a rookie trying to make an impression in a game where we are obviously short on baserunners. And then, for some unknown reason, you swing at a 2-0 pitch...and you foul it off.
Not an epic fail (we will get to that later), but nonetheless a fail and we all know that when a rookie fails it is almost always elevated to the epic level.
Then he redeemed himself. Psyche. He grounds out to second base on the next pitch. Squared that one up, didn't he? Now, if he takes that 2-0 pitch, maybe even takes the following 2-1 pitch to go 2-2 and then grounds to second base, that is probably acceptable from your #9 hitter whose OPS is made up of almost equal parts of his OBP and SLG and whose OBP is almost entirely made up of his batting average, if you get my drift.
So, we call that 2-0 swing a rookie mistake.
But wait! The next batter is Bradley Zimmer, another rookie. Following in Gonzalez's footsteps he goes 2-0. Then, on the next pitch he tries to hit a ball almost in the dirt and weakly grounds out the pitcher. For a second it looks like his legs are going to redeem his brain fart by legging it out. But the replay guru says 'no' and Zimmer is called out on appeal. So now it looks like our second rookie learned nothing from the first one and failed even more epically that Gonzalez, topping a ball that didn't even make it to the pitcher.
As Shoeless Joe Jackson said in 'Field of Dreams', "Rookies?!#@!?"
Then we went from bad judgement to bad baseball with Gonzalez's epic fail in the 8th. When it rains it pours. Maybe in July we will forget about this but, right now, rookie stupidity hurts, and I am a rookie-lover.