The Atlanta Braves secured a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS with an 8-7 win last night. They did not exactly have the easiest time of it, though; Atlanta was up 7-0 in the top of the seventh, then gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning and four more in the bottom of the ninth to let the Dodgers back into the game. Fortunately for the Braves, they avoided the epic collapse and got the final out with one run to spare.
After the game, Braves relief pitcher Mark Melancon answered questions from reporters via Zoom. He was the pitcher who got the final out and sealed the deal, but not before giving up a triple that brought the Dodgers to within one run. One reporter asked if there were any "positives" to be taken from the fact that Atlanta nearly blew a seven-run lead in a three-inning span. Melancon was initially confused, then refused to answer because he thought it was a terrible question.
In slight defense of a fellow sports media member, I kind of see the angle the reporter was attempting to communicate here. No player would agree that there were positives to be taken away from giving up seven runs in the last three innings, but there is something to be said about the experience of battling through adversity in the postseason. Especially when it's a young squad like Atlanta's. That seemed like the general direction this reporter was going for.
But that's not what he said, leading to Melancon speaking a phrase that haunts most beat writers' dreams: "I think that's a terrible question." Gotta feel a little bit for the guy, even if the question was not very good. This level of put-down on national television after a championship series game is tough to come back from.
Phrasing. It's important.