In four years with the Florida Marlins, pitcher Burke Badenhop made 10 starts, but was used primarily as a reliever.
On this day 10 years ago, Badenhop played the hero in his relief role, but this time, it wasn’t with his arm. Instead, Badenhop came through with the game-winning hit in the 11th inning to lift the Marlins past the New York Mets, 2-1.
Badenhop had used a double-play ball to get out of the bottom of the 10th at Citi Field on May 16, 2011. The Marlins and Mets were tied 1-1 and if that was going to change, it was up to Badenhop to come through at the plate.
In the top of the 11th, Giancarlo (then Mike) Stanton got things started with a single before Mets’ reliever Ryota Igarashi retired Brett Hayes and Omar Infante. Emilio Bonifacio was able to keep the inning alive with a single of his own, but with no position players available, Badenhop was forced to hit with two outs.
To that point in his career, Badenhop had just one hit. Against Igarashi however, he battled like a seasoned pro. After 11 pitches where the count was worked full, Badenhop lined a fastball up the middle into center field. Stanton came around to score and Florida had its first lead of the night.
In the bottom of the 11th, it was a Mets pitcher who would make things interesting against closer Juan Carlos Oviedo, then known as Leo Núñez. The Florida closer retired the first two hitters he faced before Mets’ pitcher Jon Niese—normally a starter—was called on to pinch hit.
Like Badenhop, Niese worked the count full before coming up big. Niese tripled to left-center field to put the tying run on base and bring the winning run to the plate. Oviedo would bounce back and strike out José Reyes to end the game.
Badenhop not only had the winning hit but got the win for working a scoreless 10th. Florida starter Josh Johnson and New York’s Mike Pelfrey each allowed just one run.
The lone New York run of the night came on an RBI double by Justin Turner in the bottom of the fourth. Stanton evened things up with a solo home run to lead off the top of the seventh.
As for Badenhop, he would tally just three hits throughout the course of his career—all as a member of the Marlins. Only one of those however, came in extra innings and served as the game-winner. It happened on this day a decade ago.