Programming note: For the most comprehensive World Series coverage, watch "SportsNet Central: October Quest" Friday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and immediately after Game 3 on Comcast SportsNet Plus
SAN FRANCISCO – Hunter Strickland already owned up to his emotional transgressions in Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday night.
Given a day to process everything that happened, though, and after talking with coaches and teammates, the right-handed rookie said he had an even better understanding of how bad it looked when he stared down Royals catcher Salvador Perez and started an unprovoked war of words.
“I’m embarrassed. I’m not going to deny it,” said Strickland, who allowed extra-base hits to both batters he faced -- a two-run double to Perez and a two-run home run to Omar Infante – in the Kansas City Royals’ 7-2 victory.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys over there. I do. It happened and I can’t take it back. There’s a lot of emotion going on but you’ve got to control it.”
Did Strickland pitch with too much emotion, perhaps getting angry and trying to blow away hitters instead of trying to hit spots? Strickland didn’t deny that temptation is always there on the mound.
“That’s part of your job,” he said. “You’ve got to be under control no matter how upset you are.”
Strickland said Giants manager Bruce Bochy already buoyed his confidence by calling upon him twice in the World Series even though he’d already given up four home runs this postseason.
“However they want to use me again, I can’t wait to get back out there,” he said.
Strickland had private talks with Bochy and left-hander Jeremy Affeldt along with other coaches. And he said the message was received.
“That stays in the clubhouse, but I’m telling you, this is a good kid,” Affeldt said. “We see it every day. He wants to be better. He wants to be a better pitcher and a better person.”
Strickland knows that his outburst, on a World Series stage, will create a reputation among fans that will be hard to shake. He said he hopes to get a chance to prove he can grow from it.
“The support I’ve been getting here is great,” he said.