They say there’s no crying in baseball, but don’t tell that to San Francisco Giants pitcher Santiago Casilla.
The 36-year-old Casilla has won three World Series with the Giants but lost his job as closer in September. Having lost the trust of manager Bruce Bochy, Casilla wasn’t given the opportunity to pitch in Tuesday’s Game 4 of the National League Division Series, a game the Giants lost to the Chicago Cubs, blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning.
After watching the Cubs celebrate advancing to the NL Championship Series, and knowing he didn’t get the chance to do anything about it, reporters spotted Casilla crying in the clubhouse after the game, according to The Mercury News.
Casilla had 31 saves for the Giants this season, but also had nine blown saves, tied for the most in all of baseball. He did struggle down the stretch, as opposing hitters tagged Casilla for five runs in just 7 2/3 innings in the season’s final month with the right-hander posting a 1.174 WHIP over that time.
Despite those struggles, Casilla believed he could’ve gotten the job done.
“I’m a pitcher. I’m part of the bullpen,” Casilla said. “I know I have had some bad moments in September and during the season, but I have good numbers in the playoffs and I know I can pitch in that situation. I know I can pitch in the big leagues.”
The Giants used five pitchers to face seven batters during the Cubs’ four-run rally in the ninth inning, and Casilla never even warmed up, a reality that was difficult for him to understand.
“I never had that moment before during five years here,” he said. “I had a little struggle. But everybody (in the bullpen) has had their bad moments. I think they forgot all the great moments I’ve had here.”
It remains to be seen if Casilla will get the chance to prove his manager wrong, as he’s set to become a free agent this offseason.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images