January 29, 2007

Heilman still haunted by pitch

John Delcos at the Journal News, writes about Aaron Heilman and the one bad pitch he threw in game 7 of the NLCS:

Pitch, crack of the bat, click to replay ... pitch, crack of the bat, click to replay.

Always with the same result.

The Mets were supposed to go to the World Series after Endy Chavez made a catch that will live forever in highlight reels, but that changed with Heilman's pitch in the top of the ninth inning.

"It was one bad pitch, and I have to put it out of my mind," Heilman said last week. "But it always kind of lingers. During the season when you make a bad pitch, you can come back the next game. In this case, there was no next game."

As Mariano Rivera had his Sandy Alomar Jr., and Dennis Eckersley his Kirk Gibson, Heilman will have Yadier Molina.

"You can't beat yourself up over it," Heilman said, words Rivera said in the spring of 1998, after his longest winter.

"I can't be stuck in that moment with that pitch. As I long as I use that experience to learn from it, I will be all right."

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