The phrase used last season by Tommy Hutton and Rich Waltz when Donnie Murphy hit a walk-off homer against the Rockies last summer: “unlikely source!” With much enthusiasm, the colorful commentators jumped in the booth as the Marlins jumped in celebration on the field. That was the Fish’s lone walk-off homer last season, and it took until July of this year for the Marlins to get another, and then another, and now another. The Marlins have now had three walk-off home runs in as many months. To me, there is nothing more exciting in sports than a walk-off home run for your favorite team.
Tonight, the Marlins got that third walk-off home run I mentioned. Bryan Petersen went deep against Doug Slaten in the bottom of the ninth. A little piece of irony for you: In the bottom of the fifth, the score was tied 1-1 and rain was coming down hard. 5 innings is a complete game if it has to be shortened due to weather, so I said, “a home run here could be a walk-off,” jokingly, because it seemed as if it was all too likely the game would be shortened by the rain. Bryan Petersen was up when I said that. Lo and behold, four innings later he went deep to fulfill my wish.
As far as an unlikely source, that was just Petersen’s second career big league home run. The first time I had ever heard of the guy was in spring training of 2010 when I stumbled across one of his minor league baseball cards. I got it signed in Viera, Florida when I saw the Fish play a training game against the Nationals. He did not come up to the big leagues until last fall, where he got his first career hit, I believe, at Nationals Park. So yes, Petersen was an unlikely power source tonight for the Marlins.
From a different kind of source: Javier Vasquez is reportedly ready to retire after the conclusion of this season, so tomorrow.
This is most likely the LAST walk-off home run in Sun Life Stadium. And it is very possible that this was the LAST home run (period) at Sun Life. The final game played at this football swamp is tomorrow at 4 o’clock.