Heath Bell should personally take each and every Marlin who batted in the ninth inning out to dinner because they saved him from receiving the loss he deserved Sunday afternoon. Bell allowed two runs in the top of the ninth resulting in a 4-2 lead by the Mets.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the bottom of the ninth with a triple, his second of the game, and later scored on a Greg Dobbs pinch-hit, RBI single. Brett Hayes was pinch running for John Buck at first base and raced to third on the hit, taking advantage of New York’s no-doubles defense. After Jose Reyes’ sac fly tied the game, Omar Infante popped out and it looked as if we would go to extras. But Hanley Ramirez then drew a walk, and Austin Kearns was hit to load the bags. Giancarlo Stanton followed that up with a BLAST on the first pitch of his AB.
I didn’t see Stanton’s shot live because MLB.com failed to give me a live look-in on Miami’s climactic bottom of the ninth. They let me see Greg Dobbs’ RBI single, but then terminated the video. Anyway, Giancarlo’s blast landed on the staircase right next to the home run sculpture, nearly drilling the horrific thing and winning my prize.
Rich Waltz talks funny when he gets really excited. In 2005, I heard him call a Mike Lowell grand slam, and I noticed that his dialogue got very choppy and loud. Same thing on Stanton’s: “Drive to left. And deep. Get! Outta! Here! Grand Slam!!! Ball Game!!! Walk Off!!!” Eerily similar to the call seven years ago on Lowell’s: “Lowell hits it left! Hits it deep! Hits it well! And it is…GONE!! A Grand Slam! The MARLINS get their big hit of the night!!!!
Stanton’s blast won the series for the Marlins, and now Miami is 18-16.