This piece, written by BP Wrigleyville’s Rian Watt, forms part of the main site’s comprehensive coverage of the postseason, “Playoff Prospectus”.
Errors are not the best way to measure a fielder’s quality. You know that. I know you know that. But still, here’s a fact for you: Kris Bryant committed just 14 errors all season, and only 12 at third base. Among players with as many innings at the position, that was the fourth-lowest total in the National League. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t bad, either—and he certainly defied expectations that he’d be unable to maneuver his 6-foot-5 frame into passable defense at the hot corner.
But Bryant committed two errors in a single inning last night, and cost the Cubs the lead, the game, and possibly the World Series in the process. In a night chock-a-block with goats for the Cubs—John Lackey pitched poorly, Joe Maddon left him in too long, and the Chicago bats once again failed to get to Corey Kluber—Bryant’s errors stand out for the degree to which they arrived in defiance of any reasonable expectation for the game’s progress through the night.
Maddon will get rightfully excoriated for his decision to leave Lackey in the game to hit in the fourth, but he’s shown an uncommon faith in his pitchers all season. That’s not new. Bryant’s miscues are.
Here’s how it all went down.
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Lead photo courtesy Jerry Lai—USA Today Sports.