A Walk is as Good as a Hit
Perhaps one of the most important lessons about playoff baseball is that everything is magnified. That comes to adding to the team’s victories; we’ve already discussed Judge. Hopefully the Yankees will look at Didi’s line and internalize the idea.
To players, management, and fans, Didi has become an indispensable player. That remains true in these playoffs. That is clear from seeing the team play.
It is not, however, because of his identical average and slugging: .077/.368/.077. Based on those, Gregorius is almost as big of a playoff bust as Ellsbury or Headley.
But that has not made Didi lose his focus or upbeat outlook. His OBP and defense tells us that. Again, everything is magnified in October. Getting on base puts pressure on the pitcher to perform, and the bullpen to get ready.
It’s not much, and not nearly as good as getting base hits, but it is better than going in the tank. And keeping your composure during a difficult playoff run helps everyone. Hitting or not is contagious and a lot of times it starts with the team mentality. One person’s slump can become everyone’s problem.
And Didi has brought that most important quality to the playoffs: Consistency. As infielders on other teams commit uncharacteristic errors, Didi’s steady play shines through. Didi is keeping his head up and in the game. And he is finding ways to contribute.
His infield mate, Starlin Castro, is doing more than just that.