This is what I love about baseball. You can never take anything for granted. We were all reminded of that last week in Washington, D.C. when the Mariners failed to hold a four-run lead in the ninth.
And we saw it again tonight when Marlins reliever Steve Cishek could not even complete an intentional walk without costing his team the game. Those pitch-outs are not as easy as they look and one of Cishek’s throws did indeed get away.
Marlins catcher John Buck did a great job of getting a piece of the ball. But it wasn’t enough to stop Dustin Ackley from sprinting home and barelling into home to jar the ball loose and score the decisive run.
So, the M’s fins a way to win 2-1.
This is not the preferred route, but they are indeed back in second place, a half-game up on the Angels. They are also back to 1 1/2 games out of first. That buys them some time for those running the show to figure out how to get this offense through the next few months while remaining in contention.
What a night for Dustin Ackley. He looked real good on that 5-4-3 double-play and, well, did we mention his three hits?
Ackley tripled, doubled and singled. He actually should have had another double instead of the single but the ball hit the first base umpire.
No matter. The actual double was the biggie because it came to lead off the 10th inning. Ackley then alertly took third base — and this is the key to the whole inning — on that Miguel Olivo flyout to left. How many times over the years have we seen the M’s not advance a base even on flyouts to center or right field in that situation?
Ackley took third on a ball to left center. That’s heads-up ball.
And that’s why he scored. That’s why the M’s won. Well, that and some luck. Now, this offense has to start making more of its own luck. The front office as well. This one was too close.