By In Baseball

Arrieta and Gibson

From NBC SportsWorld:

That was exactly what Joe Maddon wanted too. As the game had progressed, he stopped seeing Jake Arrieta out there pitching. He started to see Bob Gibson. You know, in Bob Gibson’s extraordinary career he started nine games in the World Series. He completed the last eight of them. You couldn’t take him out of a big game, not with a court order. That’s one of the big things Maddon loved about the guy. There was no doubt he would send Arrieta back out to the mound.

“My thought tonight,” Maddon would say, “was to attempt to take Jake Arrieta out of that game would have been tantamount to taking Bob Gibson out of that situation or a World Series performance. So I would say, in my experience as a kid growing up, I saw Mr. Gibson out there tonight.”

Channeling Bob Gibson

10 Responses to Arrieta and Gibson

  1. Tom K says:

    The most incredible thing to me was Arietta stealing second, as you note. I wonder when a pitcher last stole a base in the post season: and an obvious, crucial difference-maker with a four-run lead, at that!

    • No Comment says:

      “It was the seventh time in playoff history that a pitcher has stolen a base. It was done once in 1908, when the flag had 46 stars. It was done again in 1952…Incredibly, it was done again by John Smoltz in 1991, 1992, and 1995. Then Cliff Lee stole a base in 2009, crediting first-base coach Davey Lopes. Finally, Arrieta, Wednesday night.”

  2. Joe, I take issue with Mantegna’s comments about Bartman. There was no need for Dusty Baker to bring Bartman into the clubhouse because no one associated with the Cubs organization ever blamed him. They all blamed themselves. Only in the moment right after the play did Moises Alou blame the fan. In the clubhouse after the game he insisted the loss wasn’t Bartman’s fault. It was the media and the fans that blamed the kid. The fans booed him during the game and the Sun-Times publishing his personal information the next day (which is why we know who he is.)

    • Marc Schneider says:

      Bartman should have sued the newspaper for invasion of privacy. He was not a public figure. Whoever did that at the paper should have been immediately fired.

      • Dan says:

        Agreed, that it was a breach of journalistic ethics. (The Sun-Times published his name right away; the Tribune did not, but used it after he issued his public apology, which IMO was the right thing to do.) But he wouldn’t have had a chance in a lawsuit, which is most likely why one was never brought. Some achieve fame, and some sadly have fame thrust upon them. it’s not unlawful for a paper to print the name of a someone reasonably related to matters of public interest.

    • Brett Alan says:

      The way I read Mantegna’s comments, he wasn’t saying that the Cubs needed to be convinced that it wasn’t Bartman’s fault; he was suggesting that Baker use Bartman as inspiration, imploring his players to win the series to save Bartman from the guilt and abuse.

  3. There was an interesting article by Bob Gibson in the Daily Beast about what it takes to succeed in the post-season (which to Gibson meant the World Series). Gibson was legendary for his intensity on the big stage, but wonders if he could have sustained it over the course of a month’s worth of playoffs. Like Madison Bumgarner last year, Jake Arrieta may get a chance to prove he can do just that.

    The other interesting note Gibson made in the article was the confidence boost he got when his manager Johnny Keane allowed him to finish the 9th inning of Game 7 in 1964, despite giving up a pair of home runs. You wonder if Joe Maddon was thinking the same thing when he allowed Jake Arrieta to finish off his masterpiece. In this era when going to one’s closer is automatic, and pitchers are kept on pitch counts, and you hear the stat-heads say that a pitcher should never be allowed to face a line-up the third time around, you forget that if a starter is cruising and in rhythm he absolutely should be allowed to finish the game. You never know what you’re going to get when you bring in a new pitcher, even one with good credentials. When Matt Williams pulled Jordan Zimmerman with 2 outs in the 9th inning of last years playoffs, he set in motion the chain of events that doomed the Washington Nationals. Add to that the confidence boost that Gibson talked about when the manager shows faith in you, and you get a pitcher who isn’t looking over his shoulder when trouble strikes. The best decision Bruce Bochy made in last year’s World Series was allowing Madison Bumgarner to finish off the game after a single was misplayed into a triple with two outs in the 9th—even though Bumgarner had thrown a ton of pitches in the post-season to that point. If Jake Arrieta ever finds himself in a similar situation with the game on the line in the World Series, he will have yesterday’s game to draw from.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      I understand your point but, (1) Gibson still had a two-run lead even after the home runs, while Zimmermann had put the tying run on base; (2) it was a different time when pitchers were expected tp complete the game and were prepared to do so. Given the fact that complete games are so rare today, I think it was a defensible decision to take him out. You know if he had left Zimmermann in and the next guy hit a home run, Williams would have been crucified for that; (3) the quality of relief pitchers today is much higher than in Gibson’s day. Maybe Keane would have relieved Gibson if he had had, say Craig Kimbrel or Aroldis Chapman available. And Arrieta had a four-run lead so the game was pretty safe.

      Having said that, I do like Maddon leaving Arrieta in to finish. But, I wonder if it had anything to do with him struggling (relatively speaking) last night against the Cardinals.

  4. Jon says:

    where is Arrrieta from? f

  5. KHAZAD says:

    I loved Maddon’s comment when he was asked after the game what Arrieta’s pitch limit was that day. “Infinity” was his reply.

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