Over the course of many years and 162-game seasons, bizarre moments are bound to happen.
For the Florida Marlins, a series played under unusual circumstances ended in bizarre fashion on this day 10 years ago. A wild pitch from Marlins’ closer Steve Cishek while trying to issue an intentional walk brought home the winning run as the Seattle Mariners took the game and the series in 10 innings with a 2-1 victory.
The Marlins and Seattle Mariners capped a three-game series in the Pacific Northwest at Safeco Field on June 26, 2011. The series was originally scheduled for South Florida, but a U2 concert forced the teams to change venues. The Marlins played as the “home team,” nonetheless.
The Mariners took the first game by a 5-1 score before Florida responded with a 4-2 victory. In the rubber game, nine innings weren’t enough.
The teams went to the 10th inning, tied 1-1. Batting in the top half of the frame, the Mariners started the inning with a double off the bat of Dustin Ackley. The double chased Florida lefty Randy Choate as the Marlins went to Cishek, the sidewinding closer.
Intentional walks rarely required much effort, but with John Buck set up well outside, Cishek uncorked a pitch that went to the backstop. Ackley came home to score as Seattle led 2-1.
Cishek would get out of the inning with no further damage, but Brandon League pitched around a one-out single by Buck in the bottom of the inning to collect the save and seal the win.
Prior to the bizarre 10th, Seattle’s only run had come on an RBI groundout off the bat of shortstop Brendan Ryan in the fifth. The Marlins evened things up in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI double from Omar Infante.
In nearly three decades of baseball, the Marlins have seen some unusual finishes and series. Perhaps none was more bizarre than the series that was capped on this day a decade ago.