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Games of the Decade: May 13, 2012

The walk-off grand slam still ranks as one of the biggest moments of Stanton’s outstanding major league career.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Nothing compares with the rush of tuning in to live Marlins games. But as you are all aware, unfortunate circumstances have delayed the start of the 2020 regular season. Need help filling that void? Fish Stripes will be presenting full-length FOX Sports Florida broadcasts from the 2010-2019 Marlins seasons.

The “Games of the Decade” series is a collaborative process between the Fish Stripes staff and audience. Please continue recommending games that deserve to be rewatched!

Mets 4, Marlins 8—May 13, 2012

Starting Lineups

After being Major League Baseball’s most disappointing team of April (8-14 record), the 2012 Marlins found their groove after the calendar flipped. They entered this Mother’s Day matchup with an opportunity to win their fourth consecutive series and climb another game above the .500 mark.

Believe it or not, fiery veteran right-hander Carlos Zambrano was exactly the man Miami wanted on the mound to maintain the positive momentum. Through six starts, he owned a sensational 1.98 earned run average while devouring nearly seven innings per outing. Earlier the same week, Zambrano—for only the fifth time in his accomplished career—tossed a complete-game shutout.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
Big Z was lookin’ like a great pick-up for the Marlins.
Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

However, the offense was struggling to adjust to the cavernous dimensions of new Marlins Park. The team’s on-base percentage had been toggling around the .300 mark up to this point, unacceptable for an aspiring contender.

Mets lefty Jon Niese frustrated the Fish for most of the afternoon. They had at least one baserunner against him in every inning from the first through the sixth yet couldn’t push any runs across.

Meanwhile, the visitors manufactured some scoring in the top of the fourth, taking the 2-0 lead. Zambrano was very solid overall, charged with only one earned run in his seven frames.

Niese, at 99 pitches, still might’ve had something left in the tank, but Mets manager Terry Collins was fed up with him constantly flirting with trouble. Even with the bottom of Miami’s batting order due up in the seventh, Niese was replaced by pinch-hitter Ike Davis and setup man Ramon Ramírez came in from the bullpen.

The Marlins greeted Ramírez rudely. Emilio Bonifacio lined a leadoff triple to center field followed by a game-tying, two-run homer from John Buck off the base of the sculpture.

With the contest still 2-2 entering the ninth, there would be no possibility of a save situation. Ozzie Guillén went directly to Heath Bell. The highly paid free agent acquisition had already cost the Marlins several games that season, so it was hardly surprising when he loaded the bases. Unheralded utility guy Justin Turner worked a full count before delivering a devastating opposite-field, two-out, two-run double. The crowd of 26,401 showered Bell with boos when he trudged back to the dugout, responsible for the 4-2 deficit.

Fortunately for Miami, Mets closer Frank Francisco was nearly as untrustworthy. He failed to retire the first three Marlins hitters and got yanked for Manny Acosta. A José Reyes sacrifice fly brought home the tying run. Acosta couldn’t put away Hanley Ramírez (walk) or Austin Kearns (hit by pitch), which made it impossible for him to avoid Giancarlo Stanton.

This has gotta be near the top of the list of farthest home runs ever hit with a pink bat:

Full FOX Sports Florida game broadcast (with Rich Waltz, Tommy Hutton and Craig Minervini)

TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)

Win Probability chart
  • Coincidence? Stanton also hit a walk-off grand slam for the Marlins in the opening round of the MLB Dream Bracket, a tournament simulating best-of-seven series between each franchise’s all-time roster.
  • Early in the season, this 2012 club loved dramatic finishes. Five of their first eight home wins came in walk-off fashion!
  • It’s amazing how the Marlins sustained this hot streak in spite of Heath Bell. Mother’s Day was in the middle of a stretch during which they won 18 consecutive Bell appearances (despite his individual mediocrity).
  • Heartfelt comments from some of the players about how their mothers helped them on the road to The Show:

The “Games of the Decade” series is also available as a YouTube playlist (games listed there in chronological order)