|Someone needs a hug
With two outs in that inning, Hanrahan, who had already walked two hitters and thrown a wild pitch, faced Raúl Ibáñez. It was 11-9 at that point. The bases were loaded. For the first time in his career, Hanrahan thought about what might happen if he committed a mistake.
"And I don't know why," Hanrahan said. "This is the first time I've thought about, 'If I give up a home run here, oh crap.' "
And it was evident to Nats fans watching the game too. Here's NBC Washington's Chris Needham:
Hanrahan pitched like he was scared. You could see it in his eyes. The people at MASN noticed and zoomed in super close a few times, filling the screen with the look of a scared guy. Ball one. Ball two. Wild Pitch. Ball three. On and on it went. So that by the time Raul Ibanez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, you knew what was coming. First pitch. BAM. Game over.
I tend not to subscribe to the notion that closers need a certain mentality to do their job -- some preternatual toughness that any other pitcher capable of getting three outs with a big lead doesn't have -- but in light of Hanrahan's performance last night, I suppose it's quite possible that there is at least some requisite amount of testicular fortitude in order to be successful.