It’s easy to take shots at the Marlins. The team is terrible, their owner is just mean, and the only thing that keeps them from providing the worst baseball in the league on a regular basis is the even-worse-off Houston Astros.
But the Marlins actually pulled off a pretty good feat Wednesday night — after getting themselves into a mess in the first place. Logan Morrison and Donovan Solano got caught in a strange game of pickle against the Washington Nationals in D.C.
Teammate Adeiny Hechavarria had hit a bouncer toward third, and Morrison took off on contact, trying to make it home. But the Nationals, all over the play, quickly got the ball and protected home, and Morrison was left scampering back to third.
That wasn’t the best idea, though — Solano was also trying to take third, as he moved to advance all the way from first after he saw Morrison break for home. With a wide camera lens tracking the play, a train wreck on the basepaths is immediately apparent as Morrison backpedals and Solano comes in from second in perfect unison. The two both executed top-notch slides into third base, but Nats shortstop Ian Desmond laid down a tag. Morrison was ruled out.
On its face, it looks like a classic Marlins moment — two fish, one bag, facepalm. But considering that Desmond had two Marlins at his feet and only managed to get one out, Miami has to be applauded for doing something right on the sequence. Perhaps Morrison gets the hat tip for noticing that, once he got caught in the game of pickle, it would be better for him to try to run it out than just take the tag near home plate, which would have set up Solano for an easy out at third and the double play.
With two players coming at him at once, Desmond only ended up being able to make one out.
So, there it is: In a season of lowlights, the Marlins have achieved a moral victory in getting zero runs and only one out on a play where they could have easily ended up with men on second and third.