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September 30, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Mariners keep on making history as horrible season winds to a close

Just when you thought you’d seen it all from the 2010 Mariners, they go out and lose yesterday’s game on a walkoff strikeout. Not only that, but a walkoff strikeout with a runner on first base.
There have been five previous MLB games decided the last half-century by a walkoff whiff and all of them involved runners at third or second base. I mean, runners score from third on wild pitches all the time. They almost never score from first base. Especially not to end the game! So, unless anyone else can find evidence of that happening in an MLB game, the Mariners might have just made history again.
Here are the other games where it’s happened:
Aug. 3, 2005 — The Phillies were batting when Pat Burrell swung and missed at an offering from Michael Wuertz of the Cubs. The ball got away from Chicago catcher Michael Barrett, who picked it up and threw to third — not realizing that Jimmie Rollins was already halfway home. Rollins scored easily.
Sept. 27, 2003 — Detroit was batting against Minnesota when Warren Morris struck out on a Jesse Orosco pitch. Alex Sanchez was on third and scored easily when the ball got away from the catcher.
Sept. 22, 1997 — I was still living in Montreal when my Expos blew one against the Atlanta Braves in extra innings. Steve Kline uncorked a wild pitch to Mike Mordecai, who swung and missed. But the ball got away and Denny Bautista scored from third.

June 16, 1986 — We finally get a guy scoring from second on this play. Rangers knuckleballer Charlie Hough was trying to finish off the Angels and got George Hendrick to swing and miss at strike three. But catcher Orlando Mercado was charged with a passed ball on the play and Wally Joyner scored from second. Joyner had actually moved up to second on a prior passed ball. No, Hough was not an easy guy to catch.
Aug. 15, 1970 — Tom Seaver of the Mets had a one-run lead with the bases loaded and two out, when he fanned Bob Tillman. But the pitch was wild, allowing the tying run to score from third and then, when catcher Jerry Grotte committed a throwing error, Rico Carty scored the winning run after starting off at second base.
So, there you have it. No instances of a guy scoring from first base. The Mariners have outdone all of baseball once again.
It’s worth noting that, as manager Daren Brown said, with young players, you are going to see a lot of things that can be tough to swallow.
There were some mighty fine names mentioned in the five cases I’ve listed for you. Hall of Famers even.
For the M’s, you had a reliever who began the year in Class AA throwing to a catcher who was also in AA this season. That catcher threw to a first baseman who is a raw rookie and second-year pro and spent time in AAA this season.
The right fielder? Well, he’s been around and made far better throws. But given the shock of what was happening in front of him, I can’t blame him for not making his best throw home.



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