There's nothing sadder than giving up a monstrous postseason home run
Every pitcher gives up home runs. Even the best see their fair share of pitches end up beyond the outfield fences. It's just part of the job.
You might think, then, that pitchers kind of get used to giving up the occasional dinger. While that may be true, some certainly sting more than others, and Sunday night's ALCS Game 2 between the Yankees and Astros featured a couple homers that definitely stung.
In the fourth inning, Yankees outfielder -- and giant baseball-slugging man -- Aaron Judge hit a deep two-run home run to give his team the lead. Justin Verlander was not very happy about serving it up, and he let his emotions fly.
If that looks like it hurt, you haven't seen anything yet. Verlander's reaction -- while poignant -- was fairly typical. Pitchers get angry and frustrated when they make a mistake with a pitch the same way you and I do when we spill coffee on a brand new shirt.
Now, imagine that you're not just sitting at home spilling your coffee. Instead, you're walking into the office for your first day at a new job. While opening the door, you lose the grip on your cup and spill all over yourself right in front of your new coworkers. Instead of being angry, you may just look down at the mess you've made, turn around and walk out.
That's sort of what happened to Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino. He came in with one out in the fifth inning to protect that 2-1 lead Judge gave the team earlier. It only took one pitch for that lead to disappear on a home run that still hasn't landed. All Ottavino could do was hang his head in pure sadness.
You can't help but feel sad watching Ottavino. His sadness and disappointment is so authentically on display that you end up feeling a little bit of it yourself. Probably even if you're an Astros fan.
The heightened stakes of the postseason make every moment more emotional. On Sunday night, you could tell that was true just by looking at two pitchers' faces.
Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.