Skip to content

Brandon Phillips: “we choked”

Oct 2, 2013, 6:52 AM EDT

Wild Card Game - Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

The guy tells it like it is. Sometimes when he shouldn’t. But you can pretty much expect him to go beyond the cliches before most guys do, and he did so last night after the Reds’ loss to the Pirates:

“We choked. I don’t care how my teammates feel about what I am saying now, because it’s truth. Either you win or you go home. And I’m going home. The last place I want to be is on my couch … I choked,” Phillips added. “I didn’t do [anything] to make the team win.”

I tend to be dismissive of people who claim that ballplayers “choked” as it implies some mental or emotional component to athletic failure that is never fair or reasonable for fans — who know next to nothing of what goes on in an athlete’s head — to assume. Baseball is a game which consists of an awful lot of failure. It isn’t necessarily something new or different just when it happens to come at the most inopportune times.

That said: when Phillips says it of himself? Well, OK, I’m willing to take his word for it. He and Joey Votto went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and, after a couple of home runs put Johnny Cueto in a hole, the entire Reds lineup seemed to be trying to hit three-run homers with every swing. Even Votto was out of his usual game of plate patience. In his first two plate appearances he saw four pitches and swung at them all, grounding out on the first one and then striking out on three pitches.

If Brandon Phillips says he choked, I’m inclined to believe him. Especially after seeing how rattled Cueto and some of the other Reds reacted to the extremely hostile Pirates crowd.

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO: Mookie Betts robs Jacoby Ellsbury of extra bases with leaping catch

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    mookie betts

    Not bad for a guy who has mostly played second base in pro ball.

  2. Carlos Gonzalez exits game after aggravating ankle injury

    Aug 1, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    Carlos Gonzalez AP AP

    Carlos Gonzalez sprained his ankle last Saturday and he aggravated the injury tonight while making a sliding catch.

  3. John Lackey intends to honor contract and pitch at major league minimum salary in 2015

    Aug 1, 2014, 9:27 PM EDT

    John Lackey AP AP

    John Lackey will pitch at the major league minimum next season due to a clause in his contract.

  4. Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t expect Matt Cain to pitch again this year

    Aug 1, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    Matt Cain AP AP

    Matt Cain hasn’t made a decision on elbow surgery, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t expect him to pitch again this year.

  5. Brewers scratch Jimmy Nelson from Saturday’s start due to a “blister”

    Aug 1, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT

    Brewers logo

    The Brewers have scratched rookie right-hander Jimmy Nelson from Saturday’s start, but it mostly looks like a convenient excuse to manipulate their rotation this weekend.

  6. Brett Lawrie begins minor league rehab assignment tonight

    Aug 1, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

    Brett Lawrie AP AP

    Brett Lawrie has been sidelined since June 22 due to a broken right index finger.

  7. Matt Harvey throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    Matt Harvey Getty Getty Images

    Mets right-hander Matt Harvey threw off a mound today for this first time since he underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow last October.

  8. Marlins place Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT

    henderson alvarez getty Getty Images

    Henderson Alvarez has followed up last year’s no-hitter by being one of the best pitchers in the National League this season, but the Marlins have placed the 24-year-old right-hander on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

  9. Orioles sign Joe Saunders

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT

    saunders getty Getty Images

    Earlier this week the Royals became the fourth team to release Joe Saunders this season and the 33-year-old left-hander has already found a fifth organization, signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles.

  10. Gammons: the Pirates may have made an offer for David Price that was “greater in terms of talent”

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

    But the determining factor was likely the Rays’ belief that they can contend in 2015.

  11. Austin Jackson’s arrival in Seattle pushes James Jones back to the minors

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    James Jones Mariners AP

    James Jones has been the Mariners’ starting center fielder since making his MLB debut in mid-April, logging more than 300 plate appearances, but now the 25-year-old is headed back to Triple-A following yesterday’s trade for Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson.

  12. See your team’s logo Star Wars-ized

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    Apologies if the team you root for got a prequel logo. Braves got Boba Fett, though, so I’m happy.

  13. Cardinals demote Carlos Martinez to Triple-A

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

    Carlos Martinez is no longer needed in St. Louis’ rotation following trades for Justin Masterson and John Lackey, but rather than shifting him back to the bullpen the Cardinals have decided to send the 22-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.

  14. Red Sox designate Mike Carp for assignment

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Mike Carp AP

    Mike Carp reportedly requested a trade from the Red Sox last week, but after failing to find a taker before yesterday’s deadline they’ve designated him for assignment.

  15. HBT Daily: Winners and losers at the trade deadline

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    We won’t really know for sure for some time, but for now let us offer knee jerk reactions!

  16. Angels place Tyler Skaggs on the disabled list

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Tyler Skaggs Getty Getty Images

    Tyler Skaggs exited Thursday’s start in the fifth inning with forearm tightness and now the Angels have placed the 22-year-old left-hander on the disabled list.

  17. A’s release Jim Johnson, eat $10 million salary

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT

    Jim Johnson A's AP

    Johnson saved 50-plus games in each of the previous two seasons, leading the league both years, but this season he posted a 6.92 ERA in 38 appearances for the A’s while almost immediately being stripped of closing duties.

  18. Jose Bautista, Casey Janssen “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Blue Jays’ lack of trade deadline activity

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista Jose Bautista

    Toronto was 38-24 and in first place by six games on June 6, but the Blue Jays have gone 22-26 since then and general manager Alex Anthopoulos did nothing at the trade deadline yesterday.

  19. Empty Yesterday: Kansas City’s trade deadline day

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Dayton Moore, David Glass Getty Images

    The Royals just had an infuriating trade deadline day.

Featured video

A's, Tigers big winners at trade deadline
Top 10 MLB Player Searches