In case ya missed it…
We’ve all been there.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?
One of the most bizarre 5 minutes of baseball you’ll ever see occurred in Miami. It included a Tomas Nido single, a Brandon Nimmo bunt single on a one-man left side, two challenges (on the same play??), umpire deception, and a Francisco Lindor almost-grand slam that led to a pretty entertaining race home between Starling Marte and Nimmo. And honestly, there’s even more that I could fit into that sentence but my grammatical morals say end the sentence while you can. We’ll get into it.
It started with a Tomas Nido single – a ball hit up the middle that Marlins SS John Berti ranged over into shallow center for, but never was able to make the transfer on the spin move.
Brandon Nimmo comes up next, and the Marlins employ the shift, bringing the SS to the right side and leaving 3B Luke Williams alone on the left side of the field. He lays down a pretty hard rolling bunt that Williams tried to barehand unsuccessfully. I know it’s the pros, but on a ball like that, you have to go get it with the glove. That ball was moving too fast for a barehand, unless you’re Nolan Arenado or Manny Machado which, no disrespect to Luke Williams, he isn’t. So now we have a 1st and 2nd, no-out situation with Starling Marte heading to the plate.
Starling hits a chopper to the second baseman Willians Astudillo, who you may remember was the talk of the town for a bit during the 2018 season in Minnesota after scoring from first against the Yankees.
Anyway, La Tortuga fields the chopper moving forward as Nimmo is racing to 2nd base. Nimmo smartly decides to slide, forcing Astudillo to have to tag him before having to throw to first to get Marte. The ensuing play got WILD.
Astudillo, seemingly in a rush to get Marte, reaches down to tag Nimmo and at the same time he reaches down, he takes the ball out of his glove, so he’s tagging Nimmo with an empty mitt. See below 👇🏼
The tag is made with virtually no call on the field, and not much of a camera angle to see exactly what Nimmo did next, but I would assume Nimmo thought he was out with the tag. Astudillo makes the throw to first, which is extremely close, Marte is called out, and you can even see La Tortuga owning up to his mistake by telling first baseman Jesus Aguilar to throw to second so they can actually tag Nimmo out.
Buck Showalter comes out and challenges the call, which when we were watching live, was very confusing. We were unsure which call he was actually challenging. Was it the (non) tag on Nimmo or the out call at first against Marte? When the crew chief came on and said that the Mets were challenging both, I was shocked! I ddin’t even know that you could challenge two plays at once, nevertheless challenge two outcomes within the same play. Mattingly is confused, and Showalter, who’s challenging genious has been on display all year, actually looks like he knows he has this in the bag, which he did indeed when the call was overturned.
So now, instead of a man on 3rd with 2 outs, the Mets now have bases loaded, NO OUTS, with Francisco Lindor at the plate who hit a solo bomb to dead center earlier in the game. As a reminder, we have Marte at first, Nimmo on second, and Tomas Nido (remember him?) at 3rd. And Frankie launches another deep drive to center to create more chaos.
*Also footage of his first homer which he hilariously misses first base*
The craziest part about this is how Nimmo and Marte are practically running together! Marte runs like a freaking gazelle, and Nimmo doesn’t run too bad himself, so how did they get so close? The field umpire was running in to see the play in between the mound and second base, and as he is doing so, Nimmo is coming from second and has to chop step while Marte is practically on 2nd base.
Alex Cora even tries to STOP Marte, but we all know that you just have to get out of the way when the train is coming through.
AND THEN MARTE RUNS PAST HOME PLATE AND HAS TO GO BACK AND TOUCH!! What a turn of events man. These are the little things about baseball that I love. Guys are playing their ass off, having a ton of fun, and entertaining us with strategy and controlled (kind of) chaos.