Home Sport Tristan Grisham of Milwaukee Brewers joins list of postseason blunders

Tristan Grisham of Milwaukee Brewers joins list of postseason blunders

With the bright lights of the playoffs comes the attention and scrutiny of playing on sports’ biggest stages. And while rising to the occasion at the most intense moments can immortalize a player, failing to deliver when the pressure is on can dog someone for years to come.

Fair or not, Brewers rookie right fielder Trent Grisham entered the latter category in Tuesday’s National League wild-card game when he was a central figure in the play that swung the game to the Washington Nationals.

Here’s a look at some of the company Grisham now keeps.

Trent Grisham: 2019 NL wild card

What happened: The Brewers led 3-1 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but the Nationals had loaded the bases with two outs against ace reliever Josh Hader. Juan Soto lined a base hit to right field, Milwaukee’s rookie right fielder charged hard with the possibility — as unlikely as it was — of throwing out the tying run at home plate. The ball appeared to bounce to Grisham’s right and all three runners came around to score, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 Washington lead.

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With the bases loaded, Juan Soto rips a ball into right field, and Trent Grisham misplays it, allowing three runs to score as the Nationals take the lead in the eighth inning.

Tyler Naquin/Lonnie Chisenhall: 2016 World Series

What happened: The Indians needed one more win to clinch their first World Series title since 1948, but Game 6 got off to bad start when Kris Bryant homered in the first inning for the Cubs, and then the rookie center fielder for Cleveland (along with right fielder Chisenhall) let Addison Russell‘s fly ball drop for a two-out, two-run double. Wrote ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand after the game: “Even after the game, Naquin and Chisenhall were not on the same page. Naquin said both of them called for the first-inning ball, and Chisenhall said neither did. Their manager, Terry Francona, said that Naquin yelled, “It’s yours!” to Chisenhall. But they all agreed on one thing — it was loud. The Cubs would win the game 9-3 to force Game 7.

Matt Holliday: 2009 NL Division Series

What happened: The Cardinals led the Dodgers 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, about to even up the series at one game apiece. With two outs and nobody on, James Loney hit a fairly routine fly ball to left field. Holliday dropped it and the Dodgers rallied for two runs to win the game. They took the series in Game 3.

Alex Gonzalez: 2003 NL Championship Series

What happened: The Cubs led the Marlins 3-0 in the top of the eighth inning, on the verge of heading to their first World Series appearance since 1945. With one out, a double, walk and single made it 3-1. Miguel Cabrera bounced a potential double-play ball to the Cubs’ Gonzalez at short, but it popped out of his glove and all hell would break loose as the Marlins scored eight runs in the inning. Steven Bartman became the scapegoat, but Gonzalez’s error opened the floodgates.

Mariano Rivera: 2001 World Series

What happened: We all remember how the Diamondbacks’ improbable rally against Mariano Rivera ended, but Luis Gonzalez may never have had a chance to win it if Rivera hadn’t thrown away Damian Miller’s bunt attempt that put runners on first and second with no outs. Rivera made just six errors in his career, so the miscue — the ball may have been a little wet as it had briefly rained the inning before — was highly unusual for him. (Jay Bell, the next batter, also bunted, and Rivera made a good play to get the lead runner at third base. Scott Brosius had a chance to possibly complete a double play at first base on the play.)

Tony Fernandez: 1997 World Series

What happened: Indians closer Jose Mesa had already blown a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 against the Marlins and the game went on to the 11th inning. With one out and a runner on first, Craig Counsell hit a ground ball to the left of Fernandez, the Cleveland second baseman, and the ball scooted under his glove. Counsell eventually came around to score the winning run.

Bill Buckner: 1986 World Series

What happened: With the Red Sox on the verge of their first World Series title since 1918 after scoring two runs in the top of the 10th inning, the Mets had two outs and nobody on. Base hit. Base hit. Base hit. Bob Stanley replaced Calvin Schiraldi to face Mookie Wilson. A wild pitch off Rich Gedman’s glove tied the game. Then came one of the most famous plays in baseball history:

Jack Clark: 1985 World Series

What happened: The Cardinals were three outs away from winning the World Series against the Royals in Game 6. You remember Jorge Orta’s infield trickler and Don Denkinger’s blown call at first base to begin the inning, but everyone forgets that on the very next pitch, Steve Balboni hit a pop foul near the dugout that Clark should have caught — but didn’t. Balboni singled and the Royals rallied for two runs to win 2-1. Really, the Cardinals self-destructed after Denkinger’s call, as Darrell Porter had a passed ball that moved the runners into scoring position. Then they really self-destructed in Game 7 — an 11-0 for the Royals. (By the way, the Royals used six bench players in their ninth-inning rally: four pinch-hitters and two pinch-runners.)

Leon Durham: 1984 NLCS

What happened: In the winner-take-all Game 5, the Cubs led the Padres 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh. With a runner on second and one out, Tim Flannery’s routine grounder scooted right between Durham’s legs at first base. Game tied — and the Padres would go on to score three more runs in the inning and win 6-3.

Willie Davis: 1966 World Series

What happened: In Game 2, after the Orioles had won the opener, Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis made three errors in the fifth inning as the Orioles scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead. They would win the game 6-0 and sweep the Dodgers. I guess this is three blunders, but Davis is too often remembered for one horrific inning rather than his 2,561 career hits. On a tough sun day at Dodger Stadium, Davis dropped two fly balls that he said he lost in the sun, compounded the second miscue with a throwing error. The great Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray wrote that Davis that day “played center field as if it owned him.” In the end, it really didn’t matter: The Dodgers were shut out the final three games.

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