7-0 (and times at bat)

I’m writing this from the Raleigh Durham airport (I was in town for a talk) but I have the Phillies on my mind. The World Series game last night went spectacularly well for the Phillies, which of course means it went spectacularly badly for the Astros.

Since my flight was an hour delayed I filled some of the time reading the write-ups of the home run fest that happened. The Astros pitcher, Lance McCullers Jr., gave up very few runs over the course of the season. Then he gave up five in a few innings.

This led to speculation of whether something abnormal or unseemly had gone awry. I appreciated his quotes that basically, no, he just had a really, really awful night.

It can happen. Even if you are at the top of your game, you can have a wretched day. You can perform stunningly, and then perform horribly.

Baseball is a very long season, so you probably see people’s whole range (who knows what Game 4 will bring…) but in various one-off, high stakes situations, a stroke of bad luck, or nerves, or just something being a little wrong, can have repercussions for a long time.

In life, to use a baseball metaphor (and to get us away from the pitcher’s mound and to the other side of things), this reality means we’re best off trying to have a lot of at-bats. If you write one article, it better be a good one. And it might not be. Maybe that will be a total dud, and then that is what is out there. If you write 1000, many will be fine, and some will be total duds, and a few might just be brilliant. And you can point to the brilliant ones. Those can be a mitigating factor when the duds inevitably happen.

(Though too many in a row might end your baseball career….)

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