Last night the Marlins did something no other team in baseball history has ever done when four different pitchers combined to walk four consecutive batters, loading the bases and then forcing in what was the tying run.
It all began when starter Josh Johnson walked the final batter he faced, Lucas Duda, with two outs in the seventh inning. Ozzie Guillen removed Johnson from the game and brought in Randy Choate, who then walked pinch-hitter Justin Turner. That was it for Choate and he was replaced by Steve Cishek, who walked Scott Hairston. And finally Guillen brought in Mike Dunn, who walked Josh Thole.
Four pitchers, four plate appearances, four walks. Amazing. And here’s the kicker: Marlins pitchers issued zero walks in the game’s other 29 plate appearances … and Miami lost 2-1.
Here’s hoping Showtime devotes an entire episode of The Franchise to that half-inning or at the very least features a montage of Ozzie Guillen walking back and forth from the dugout to the mound while the Benny Hill music plays.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.