Kansas City Pitcher Yordano Ventura Intentionally Threw Erratically In Pregame Warmups To Throw Off Giants
Yahoo- KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Grieving the loss of friend Oscar Taveras and trying to help save his team's season in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night, right-hander Yordano Ventura emerged from theKansas City Royals bullpen with a plan.
When he ascended the pitcher's mound for warm-up tosses before the first inning began, Ventura appeared anything but ready for the San Francisco Giants. He misfired several times at catcher Salvador Perez, throwing several balls in the dirt and, at least twice, sending them to the backstop.
The part of this story that cannot be overlooked is how impressive Ventura was last night. After losing a friend, and fellow countryman, to a car accident just days before, Ventura went out and pitched a gem to the tune of 7 innings, 3 hits, and 0 runs. He even dedicated the night to Oscar Taveras and his family with the message inscribed across his hat. Just an all around, feel good story.
Generally speaking, there is usually two ways in which athletes respond to tragedy. They either maintain a workman like focus or completely crumble emotionally. It would have been completely understandable, even expected, had Ventura gone out and thrown a stinker last night. There had to be a lot on his mind, and sometimes there is more to life than sports. Thankfully, he did not, and he even worked a little gamesmanship into his pre game routine.
I tend to believe Ventura when he says he went out and threw wild pre game pitches with the intent of looking rattled. I'll tell you why. If it wasn't a ruse, there is no way he would have been able to re-gather himself for the game. You don't go from unsure of yourself and emotionally unstable to electric in a matter of minutes. Especially with so much on your mind. You are either locked in or you aren't in that situation.
I applaud this move by Yordano. In sports you do anything that can give you the slightest edge over the competition. Whether that be superstitions, bulletin board material, or even throwing a few in the dirt. Anything that can potentially get in the head of the opposition. I don't think the Giants went out there last night hoping that Yordano was flustered. I'm sure they have more respect for the game than that. However, you can bet your ass they were aware that Ventura was playing with a heavy heart. It was, quite literally, written all over his forehead. So when he followed up an atrocious warmup circuit with a certain command of his pitches there is no doubt it threw the Giants off a little bit. I'm not saying it was affecting how the Giants were swinging the bat all night. However, if it caught one player off guard, or was responsible for even one more strike, then it did its job. Hats off to Yordano for being so quick on his feet, and hats off for pitching an excellent game in the face of tragedy and adversity.
Rest In Peace Oscar Taveras.