It seems the Marlins have a very conservative third base coach, and that ain't good. Of course it is early yet and Joe Espada is still trying to find his sea legs.
The Florida Marlins' ninth-inning comeback had the crowd in such a frenzy that Chris Coghlan couldn't hear third-base coach Joe Espada screaming at him to stay put.
So Coghlan tagged up and scored the winning run on Jorge Cantu's sacrifice fly, and with three runs in the ninth the Marlins rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6 Saturday night.
"Joe was telling me stay, but I couldn't hear him," Coghlan said. "He was too far up the line, and everybody was yelling."
Pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino doubled home the tying runs. With the bases loaded and none out, Cantu lifted a fly to Matt Kemp in medium center field.
"When I saw him go back, I was like, 'I've got to score, because he's going to catch it flat-footed,'" Coghlan said. "He's got a great arm, but he couldn't get back far enough to come through it."
Third base coaches matter. They can help win a game or help lose it. For three seasons, Bo Porter, while meaning well, didn't seem to know what he was doing. That is easy for me to say since I didn't have to make any of the decisions. But being a third base coach is hard, it requires making split second decisions and that isn't easy.
However, when in doubt send the runner and make the other team have to make the play, especially if it can win the game. There was no reason to hold Coghlan at third. The worse that could have happened was he was thrown out at the plate while Hanley moved into scoring position with Uggla coming to the plate. The game would have still been tied at that point. Being too conservative is not a good thing when the game is on the line, as they say: Chance favors the bold.