If you weren’t aware, the World Series is happening right now. Well, maybe. Perhaps by the time this is published, the Astros will have won the championship in Game Six. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s fine. Basically, this is the most important week of the baseball season. Teams slog through 162 games and then another month of playoffs to make it to this week for the opportunity to be the best team in the world. It’s like the Superbowl, except better, and there’s seven games spread through roughly eight or 10 days instead of just one game with a notoriously disappointing half-time show.
And some crazy nonsense went down in the 9th inning of Game Five.
Here’s the setting: the Astros were up 12-9 over the Dodgers. The series, a best-of-seven-winner-takes-all, was tied 2-2, so if the Astros could get their three outs and win the game, they’d roll into Game Six with a distinct advantage over the Dodgers because the pressure would be off. All they would have to do is not screw it up. The Dodgers, on the other hand, would be feeling the pressure of losing the series if they didn’t show up with their best game. Essentially, winning Game Five would go a long way to helping the Astros win the World Series.
All they needed were three outs.
The Astros pitcher, Chris Devenski, was pitching very well, and then Yasiel Puig, the Dodger’s monster-hitting right fielder, stepped up to the plate with just one out left and a man on second base. Devenski nearly had him, and then threw a change-up on the outside corner (think, low and away from the batter). It was a good pitch, because it looked like a fast ball at first, which is what a change-up is supposed to look like. It’s used to fool a batter into either swinging early because the pitch is so slow or swinging over the ball because it drops so suddenly. But, somehow, Puig reached across the plate with an ugly, off-balance swing and hit the ball over the left field fence. What should have been strike three and the end of the game turned into the Dodgers just one run away from tying the game. Devenski kept throwing good pitches, and somehow the Dodgers kept hitting them. The Dodgers tied the game. Devenski was put on the bench and replaced in the tenth inning.
If you’re tired of hearing about baseball, good. I’m done. Here’s my point: some days your best won’t be good enough. You’ll try your hardest and give it everything you got and do all the right things and life will still figure out a way to mess you up.
And all you can do is go sit on the bench and try again next time.
So let yourself off the hook today. You tried hard. Go home, watch the World Series, get some sleep, and then try again tomorrow.
It’ll be okay.
Joey Cottle is a pastor and writer from West Michigan where he lives with his wife, Abigail, and two kids, Liv and Levi. He’s passionate about theology, leadership, and a host of other things. Check out his personal blog here.