“I just missed the base,” Reyes said. “In that situation, I have to touch the base and make the double play. But Gsellman picked me up. That’s what teammates do. We pick each other up.”
The meaning is fairly obvious in this context: one team member performs badly, and team mates atone for the error by playing especially well. This seems to have been overlooked by most (all?) dictionaries. Dictionary.com, using the Random House Unabridged, lists some 18 definitions for the phrasal verb pick up , but none of those applies directly to this usage.
I’ve noticed it in sports reporting for a few years. Is it used elsewhere? Does anyone have a dictionary definition that matches?