MIAMI – The Mariners’ misery on this trip matriculated to Miami. Seattle got a second straight subpar showing from a starting pitcher, found a way to fight back into the game and then watched it slip away in the end.
Giancarlo Stanton, who is right now the most dangerous hitter in baseball, wasn’t satisfied with just driving in the game-winning run. He drove in four to end the game.
Stanton blasted a grand slam off Yoervis Medina in the bottom of the ninth, breaking a 4-4 tie and sending the Mariners to a fourth straight loss with an 8-4 defeat at Marlins Ballpark on Friday night. It was also the third walk-off loss of the season for the Mariners.
The debate as to whether Seattle would have pitched to Stanton in the ninth can rage. And the anger over the latest controversy in baseball – replay reviews of the “transfer” rule -— was stoked a little more. The Mariners had benefited from similar reviews this season, but were on the losing end this time.
With runners on first and second and nobody out, Marcell Ozuna’s sacrifice bunt was just near enough to the mound that Medina was able to bare-hand it on the hop and fire across his body to third base to beat a sliding Reed Johnson.
But after Kyle Seager caught the ball on the bag, he went to pull the ball out of his glove to possibly throw to first. He bobbled it. That little miscue led to a request of a replay challenge of the transfer rule by Marlins manager Mike Redmond. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon didn’t need to wait the near two minutes as the umpires conferred with MLB offices in New York to know the outcome.
“I knew that was going to be overturned right away,” McClendon said.
Based on the way the rule is written, Seager didn’t have possession of the ball and Johnson was ruled safe.
“We’ve seen it happen a couple of times this year,” Seager said. “I felt like I caught the ball on the base. And then I tried to transfer it over to my hand to make a throw, and that’s when I bobbled the ball. But I felt like I caught the ball on the base.”
But with the new interpretation of the rule, Seager was wrong.
MLB released a memo as part of instant-replay review guidelines that outlined a catch with this sentence:
“An example of a catch that would not count is if a fielder loses possession of the ball during the transfer before the ball was secured by his throwing hand.”
Under that language, Seager did not catch the ball, despite years of having it being almost the opposite.
Had the out stood, the Mariners would’ve had some wiggle room with Stanton coming to the plate. They had intentionally walked him twice.
“We really tried to stay away from him all night because he’s the one guy in that lineup that can really hurt you,” McClendon said. “But we had no choice there.”
Medina hung a 1-2 slider to Stanton and he crushed it over the wall in left field.
Stanton finished the night 3 for 3 with five runs batted in. He is hitting .329 with six homers and a MLB-leading 26 RBI.
The Mariners were playing from behind the entire game. Miami jumped on starter Chris Young immediately, scoring two runs in the first inning.
Seattle answered in an unusual way. Michael Saunders led off the top of the second with a single and Dustin Ackley followed with a single to right field. As Stanton charged to field the ground ball in mid-right field, it skipped over his glove and rolled all the way to the wall. Saunders and Ackley — two of the Mariners’ faster base runners — circled the bases to score and tie it at 2-2.
But Young couldn’t keep the score there, giving up two more runs and leaving after three innings.
“I didn’t do my part tonight,” Young said. “The bullpen kept us in the game. I wish I could have given a better effort. I just wasn’t sharp.”
|Breaking down Seattle’s four-game losing streak:|
|Tue.||Texas 5-0||Rangers hand M’s third shutout in five games|
|Wed.||Texas 3-2||Felix pitching gem wasted with late-game implosion|
|Thur.||Texas 8-6||Third straight listless start for Erasmo Ramirez|
|Fri.||Miami 8-4||M’s fight back to tie but serve up grand slam in 9th|
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373