ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It happens in an instant. You are the best. And then you are a bum.
It is the role of the big league closer.
When something bad happens on the big stage, it can be a career-ender. Some guys can live with the moment and move forward. Some never recover.
The Red Sox closer, the indomitable Koji Uehara, came into a 4-4 playoff game at Tropicana Field Monday night. Working quickly, Uehara retired the first two batters he faced.
Then Tampa catcher Jose Lobaton stepped into the box. Uehara’s second pitch was a nice splitter, but Lobaton went down and got it. He squared the ball perfectly and drove it deep to right-center.
Game over. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.