Originally Posted by westofyou
Don't play tight, play loose.
Easier said then done. I saw the tension in the players' faces today and I think it manifested itself in some really lousy AB's... The little half swing Votto put on a 2-1 pitch from Zito is very unlike him.
Players will all TELL you they want to pitch the deciding game or step into the box in the bottom of the 9th, but I actually don't think most do. I've always wondered if the definition of "clutch" was simply the ability to not choke?
I could be totally wrong here, but I think Latos is a guy that really wants the ball tomorrow. I think he is supremely confident and ready to step up amid the tension.
And let's say he pitches three scoreless to start the game.... Even if Cain is doing the same, And the game itself builds tension, I think Latos starts allowing everyone else to relax and focus. If they see him confident and cruising (playing "loose") then perhaps it helps relive their own tensions. Instead of thinking "ugh, none of us can hit right now," the focus might be "we can get him a couple of runs."
It's a team game, but tomorrow the team has no chance if Latos isn't great.