If nothing else, baseball writers will always have Armando Galarraga‘s near-perfect game to compare and contrast against every starting assignment as long as he’s in the majors.
Case in point: last night’s game story in the Arizona Republic:
Last June 2, in a regrettable, unforgettable moment, he was robbed of a perfect game when first-base umpire Jim Joyce made an incorrect call with two outs in the ninth inning.
Galarraga handled that disappointment with the utmost class and was praised for the dignity he showed in doing so.
How would he respond after Monday night’s performance, when he was rocked once again, this time in the form of an 8-4 loss to the visiting San Diego Padres that dropped the Diamondbacks into last place in the NL West?
Answer: Not very well.
His spot in the starting rotation already a question mark, Galarraga lost his composure and got loud and emotional during a brief, postgame interview.
Asked if he was concerned about losing his spot, he went off.
“No. Why would I worry?” Galarraga said, his voice rising. “Is there something I have to worry about? . . . Why don’t we talk about it at the end of the season? I don’t count five starts.”
Galarraga wasn’t in the mood to talk about anything and he became confrontational with one reporter who simply asked the pitcher about his disappointment level.
“I’m disappointed for this start, not for the rest of the season,” Galarraga said, bristling. “What are you talking about? . . . What are you talking about my next start, huh? What are you saying, that I’m going to be worried about my next start? Huh?
“You saying I lost my job?”
Easy, big fella. Keep it classy.
Writer Bob McManaman points out in the piece that even though Galarraga won his first three starts of the season, his ERA was 6.00. All in all, not a great start to 2011 — and likely not a great finish, either.
But back to last night’s start. How would D-backs manager Kirk Gibson summarize it?
“He didn’t pitch very well at all,” Gibson said. “He didn’t set a very good tone for us. Really didn’t have much tonight at all. No location. . . . Just didn’t have a good performance at all.”
Fortunately for Galarraga, the D-backs aren’t brimming with pitching depth so they’re likely to ride it out with him for a while. Which is, as Tigers fans can attest, unfortunate for Gibby and the dozens of D-backs fans.