While it was Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong that drove in the 9th inning, come-from-behind runs in the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 victory over San Francisco on Friday, Brandon Moss got things started eight innings earlier with a solo home run.
His team-leading 27th home run of the season, Moss entered the game with just three hits in his last 51 at-bats.
“It really kind of started in Cincinnati–I was just getting blown away,” he recently explained. “Middle-middle pitches and I was just so late and when I would hit them, I was hitting them way down on the bat. That’s when you know you’re timing is just bad. That’s when I got away from that and you start trying to be a little more selective, be a little bit more aggressive–whatever it takes to get some timing and it just kind of spirals from there.”
Moss led the Cardinals with 21 RBIs in the month of August and admitted he may have been trying to hard these last couple of weeks.
“This is the worst possible time you could be going through a slump is when you’re right in the middle of a playoff hunt and you’re one of the bats the team leans on,” he said. “That adds more to it, but you’ve just got to come and play baseball.”
A day off this past Monday seemed to help, as Moss responded with a pair of hits–including a home run.
“If it were just one thing to identify, then it would’ve been solved a long time ago,” he said. “It’s one of those things that starts out as a bad day and ends up as a bad three weeks. Different things happen and throw in bad at-bats, bad pitch selection, and bad luck and it doesn’t go very well for you. It happens. It isn’t fun, no one enjoys it–it’s not a good time for it, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.”
Having never recalled a slump of this magnitude, Moss has received some help from teammate Jerome Williams to help provide some levity.
“I lifted up my glove and–that looks real,” pointed out Moss as he showed off a furry, fake rodent he found in his locker. “I got scared…that’s a rat. It’s not my rat, I’m just keeping him for a little while.”
But that’s not all.
“They got me with a roach yesterday,” he exclaimed. “When it’s in your glove and you put your glove on and pull it out. It’s not gross, it’s…disgusting.”
The surprises in his locker, extra video work, a day off–Moss is accepting anything presented to help. But most of all, he’s not giving in.
“I’m a guy that believes that every day you come in is the day it can change,” he said. “I’ve gone through slumps before and sometimes you just show up and for some reason, something is there and you see the ball better and you just continue on that. But this whole time, from at-bat one, it had been a grind. You just try to figure out what you’re going to do that day to try to put yourself in a position to hit a mistake. Obviously, I didn’t do it but like I said, I believe that every day is going to be the day.”
photo credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports, Bill Greenblatt/UPI