CHICAGO -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly saw the play, but figured some things were better left unsaid.Moments after the Marlins notched a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Wednesday, Mattingly was asked about the wild-pitch, fielder's-choice sequence that led to his team's final run in the seventh inning. Specifically, he
CHICAGO -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly saw the play, but figured some things were better left unsaid.
Moments after the Marlins notched a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Wednesday, Mattingly was asked about the wild-pitch, fielder's-choice sequence that led to his team's final run in the seventh inning. Specifically, he was asked about Dee Gordon, who appeared to slow down while rounding third base, as if he didn't know the number of outs left in the inning.
"Yeah, I'm kind of thinking --" Mattingly said, stopping himself and retooling his response. "That'll be an interesting answer."
Speaking at his locker -- over the shouts of the team celebrating the win and reacting to the waning moments of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on two TVs in the visitors' clubhouse -- Gordon's reaction was a little more forthcoming.
The second baseman flashed a sheepish smile after being asked about the play. Eventually, he owned up to his mistake.
"Yeah, it was bad baserunning to be honest with you," Gordon admitted. "I kind of forgot that, I did. I definitely forgot the outs, but got lucky."
Lucky indeed, but the whole play had elements of luck.
Going into the seventh, the Marlins led, 5-3. After an Ichiro Suzuki strikeout, Gordon knocked a single to left after fouling off six pitches in the at-bat. Cubs left-hander Brian Duensing attempted six different pickoffs with Gordon at first, but the speedster eventually stole second.
Then came the play -- the bad baserunning, lucky, whatever you want to call it.
"I don't believe he was trying to score," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We had more time than we thought."
Duensing struck out Giancarlo Stanton with a slider in the dirt. The ball got by catcher Miguel Montero, who recovered to make the throw to Anthony Rizzo at first in time for the out. Despite shouts from the Cubs' dugout, Montero never fully recovered back to the plate.
In the meantime, Gordon touched third, and then started to jog home -- that is, until he noticed something.
"I like kind of stutter-stepped. I didn't ever stop," Gordon said. "So when Rizzo caught it kind of nonchalantly, and I saw him looking at me, I'm like, 'All right, I've got to run faster.' "
Gordon burst down the line, as Rizzo tried to lead Montero back into the play with a throw home. The ball bounced away, as Gordon slid in safely to put the Marlins ahead, 6-3.
It was exactly enough, as the Cubs added two more runs, but lost, 6-5.
"We need a break every now and then," Gordon said. "So yeah, definitely a big win."
Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the Marlins on Wednesday.