Every team in Major League Baseball will make numerous outs on the base paths — whether it be through aggression or silliness — throughout the course of a season, but few teams are capable of pulling them off in such spectacular fashion as the Miami Marlins.
That's not a good thing, by the way.
For example, here's what happened in the sixth inning of their 4-3 loss the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night. With runners at the corners and no outs, Adeiny Hechavarria would hit a two-hopper to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Logan Morrison, the runner at third, hesitated slightly before breaking for the plate on the play, which would indicate he made the decision himself and the Marlins didn't have the contact play (runner is instructed to run home on any ground ball) on at the time.
Regardless, Morrison's decision proved fatal almost immediately because Zimmerman didn't hesitate a bit in coming home with his throw. That put Morrison is no man's land, so he turned around and got himself caught in a rundown. I want to assume this was a wise move on Morrison's part designed to give the other two runners a chance to advance another 90 feet, but the aggressive nature in which he dove into third base suggests differently, and it nearly led to disaster.
It also provided one of the funniest images we'll see all season, because just as Morrison's awkwardly diving head first into the bag and the covering Ian Desmond's leg, Donovan Solano is sliding in feet first from the other direction. That's right, simultaneous slides, which isn't unusual. Simultaneous slides into the same base, however, are unusual.
Here's another look courtesy of Vine.
I mentioned the Marlins narrowly avoided disaster. Had Solano been a step slower on his approach to third base, this would have been an awful double play because Morrison was already tagged out. The lead runner always has the right to the base, so if Morrison got back safely, Solano would have been the runner who was out. But since Morrison was already out, it was open game on Solano, too.
At the end of the play, runners were again at the corners, only this time with one out. In other words, it probably wasn't as costly as it seems. Though knowing they would ultimately go on to lose 4-3, any lost run opportunity was important to the outcome.
Big BLS H/N: Woeful Nats
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