Big League Stew - MLB

When a pitcher makes a mistake and gives up a big hit, giving no reaction is probably the best reaction. Like in courtroom scenes on TV or in the movies, don't let the jury think you've just been wounded by "surprise" witness testimony. Same goes on the baseball field: Never let 'em see you sweat. Keep your cool.

Exception: unless the pitcher just can't help it and loses himself in the moment by making an entertaining, humorous and over-the-top gesture that reveals to everyone how much he cares about messing up.

Keep an eye on Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum(notes) immediately after Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt(notes) connects in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the NLDS on Tuesday night:

A glove flip is always a bad sign for your team — from fielders who fling it in the air in a fruitless attempt to "catch" a line drive over their head, to pitchers flipping out because they got beat with a grand slam.

"It was a mistake pitch, and that's what hitters are supposed to do with mistake pitches," [Marcum] said.

As soon as Marcum lost control of his glove, it reminded me (and many others) of the 2007 NLDS, when Chris Young of the D-backs hit a three-run homer and Ted Lilly(notes) of the Cubs took out his frustrations on his own glove:

Marcum glove flip a reminder of Lilly’s glove slam at Arizona

Bad glove! Bad! (Sorry the image is so tiny. It's from 2007, back when the Internet was young!)

The Cubs probably were going to lose the game and the series anyway, but you certainly knew they had lost emotional control once Lilly slammed his leathery friend to the dirt. Thanks to SB Nation, we can also look at an animation of Marcum's glove flip:

Marcum glove flip a reminder of Lilly’s glove slam at Arizona

Nice catch. Say, what about side by side?

Marcum glove flip a reminder of Lilly’s glove slam at ArizonaMarcum glove flip a reminder of Lilly’s glove slam at Arizona. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

Whee! This is fun. Maybe not for the Brewers and 2007 Cubs, though. Now, does this mean the Brewers have lost control of their series, too? Not necessarily. They still have a 2-1 lead, one more game at Chase Field and home-field back at Miller Park for Game 5, should they need it. The '07 Cubs couldn't even beat the D-backs once.

But let's just remember the Marcum moment, in case Arizona comes back to advance, as one the Brewers might come to rue.

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