Over the years, Major League Baseball has seen contests end in a variety of strange ways.
Our last “Marliniversary” recalled the Florida Marlins beating the Atlanta Braves on a walk-off balk by Atlanta reliever John Rocker. Today’s remembers another miscue from a pitcher that allowed the Florida Marlins to score the winning run on this day 10 years ago.
On May 13, 2010, the New York Mets drew first blood on an RBI single by Rod Barajas in the second inning. The Marlins drew even in the third on Chris Coghlan’s RBI single to score Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez was 3-for-3 in the win with a double (the game’s only extra-base hit).
The Mets and Marlins were still tied 1-1 as the contest at Sun Life Stadium headed to the bottom of the ninth. The closer then known as Leo Núñez had worked out of trouble in the top of the ninth as the Marlins sought to end the contest against Fernando Nieve. They would do that as Cody Ross came around to score on a Nieve wild pitch in a 2-1 victory.
The inning actually started well for Nieve as he got Florida third baseman Jorge Cantú to fly out on a 2-2 pitch. That would be the only out he would record.
After Ross drew a six-pitch walk, catcher Ronny Paulino singled through the right side to push Ross to third and put runners on the corners with one out. Dan Uggla came to the plate, needing only a fly ball to end the game. Uggla wouldn’t even have to swing the bat as the first pitch went in the dirt and to the backstop to chase home Ross for the winning run.
Núñez earned the win for Florida while Nieves took the loss for the Mets. Both starters—New York’s Johan Santana and Florida’s Josh Johnson—threw seven stellar innings. Santana allowed just an unearned run on six hits; Johnson yielded just a run on three while striking out seven.
The victory served as the second walk-off win of the season and started a four-game series on the right foot for Florida. The Marlins would take all four games from the Mets. The most dramatic of those came in the series opener on this day a decade ago.