MILWAUKEE -- As a sinking fly ball to the gap off the bat of Derek Dietrich got past center fielder Keon Broxton and rolled to the wall, it appeared as if the Marlins were set to tie the game against the Brewers in the ninth inning.With third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez
MILWAUKEE -- As a sinking fly ball to the gap off the bat of Derek Dietrich got past center fielder Keon Broxton and rolled to the wall, it appeared as if the Marlins were set to tie the game against the Brewers in the ninth inning.
With third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez waving J.T. Realmuto home, a sequence of throws from left fielder Hernan Perez to shortstop Orlando Arcia to catcher Stephen Vogt caught the Marlins catcher at the plate for the first out of the inning.
Miami didn't bring Dietrich home from second base, meaning the Marlins dropped the opener at Miller Park, 3-2, to the Brewers.
The play was reviewed and the call was confirmed in 58 seconds.
"It was close," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously it didn't go our way. J.T. got on, we kept going and 'D' got a big hit.
"Honestly, I thought he was going to be safe fairly easy, but they made two really good throws. The throw from left and the shortstop made a great throw to home."
With Broxton coming close to catching the ball, Realmuto was forced to slow up in order to avoid being doubled up at first base had a catch been made. The necessary hesitation left the Marlins vulnerable to a play at the plate.
"He can't just take off on that," Mattingly said. "It looked like he's a glove length away from catching that ball. You definitely can't just run there."
Gonzalez's decision to send Realmuto with nobody out caught Arcia off guard, but not enough to prevent the strong-armed shortstop from firing a missile to Vogt.
Arcia, who received a night off from the starting lineup, stayed in the game at shortstop in place of Eric Sogard for defensive purposes after pinch-hitting in the seventh inning.
"I was able to stay ready the whole game, and thankfully, Hernan made a great throw right at me and we were able to make a great play and get him at home," Arcia said through an interpreter. "I was surprised, especially since it was the catcher. But [Brewers first-base coach Carlos] Subero submitted a scouting report that their catcher could run so we were ready for it."
"That was the biggest play of the game, obviously," Vogt said. "Everything had to go perfect, and it did. Those guys made two perfect throws, and Arcia's throw was perfect for me to slap it on him real quick."
The ninth inning began with Brewers closer Corey Knebel walking Realmuto on four pitches. Miami still had Dietrich standing at second base as the potential tying run with one out. Knebel struck out JT Riddle for the second out and issued a walk to pinch-hitter Martin Prado with the base open. He then caught Dee Gordon looking to end the game.
Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.