3 straight walk-offs, and 8 in '24?! Torrid TA makes it happen

June 22nd, 2024

MIAMI -- In many ways, epitomizes the 2024 Marlins.

“I was down a lot,” Anderson said. “I was down a lot, but the biggest thing was I kept going, and you know, now we're here.”

Wins haven’t been the easiest to come by for Miami, but when they do, they materialize in dramatic fashion.

Anderson delivered the game-winning RBI single in the Marlins’ 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Mariners on Friday night at loanDepot park, marking Miami’s MLB-high eighth walk-off win of the season and third walk-off win in a row.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Marlins won three straight home games via a walk-off one other time in franchise history, Aug. 9-11, 1999. With 26 total wins in 2024, 30.8 percent have come in walk-offs and extras.

“We've said before that we feel like we're going to win every game,” manager Skip Schumaker said. “Nothing has changed for me or for our team. The process is still the same.”

Anderson ambushed the first pitch he saw from righty Austin Voth -- a 92.5 mph four-seamer down the heart of the plate -- and lined it past the outstretched glove of third baseman Josh Rojas into left field. Dominic Canzone one-hopped a throw to catcher Cal Raleigh, who couldn't corral the ball as Jake Burger slid in safely.

Here are some key Statcast metrics on the play:

• 103.1 mph exit velocity from Anderson
• 28.8 ft/sec sprint speed from Burger (27 ft/sec is league average)
• 95 mph throw from Canzone (99th percentile)

“It's a great move by [third-base coach Griffin Benedict], isn't it?” Schumaker said. “Yeah, great call. He had a feeling to send him, and it all worked out. Baseball is a funny game.”

Speaking of …

Miami signed Anderson, who had an injury-affected 2023, to a free-agent contract in February hoping for a bounce back campaign at a position of need. But when Anderson returned from the bereavement list on June 11, his slugging percentage (.206) and OPS (.427) ranked last among 245 Major Leaguers with at least 150 plate appearances.

Since then, his 17 hits in his past 10 games are tied for second-most in the Majors with Cleveland’s Steven Kwan, and one behind Minnesota’s Carlos Correa. Anderson has multi-hit games in seven of his last 10, his first such stretch since May 19-June 21, 2022, which was an All-Star campaign.

“It's been a long time, bro, been a long time coming, man,” said Anderson, who recorded his fourth career walk-off plate appearance and first since Aug. 12, 2021. “Just grinding from the beginning of the struggle to now. And I know I've got a lot of more work to continue to keep doing, but it's just such a blessing to be able to just have this opportunity and be in the situation I'm in right now.

“It's been a while, for sure been a while since I felt the things that I felt. The biggest thing is just keep going. Keep going and keep enjoying the moment and keep having fun. They're going to forget about tonight. Now it's about tomorrow. So the biggest thing is just come back again tomorrow ready to work.”

But Anderson’s heroics don’t happen without the pitching.

Left-hander allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings, toeing the rubber in the seventh for the second consecutive start. Five relievers then held Seattle scoreless over the final 3 2/3 frames despite some jams.

Miami kept it a 2-2 ballgame in the eighth, for example, despite Seattle putting runners on the corners with no outs. Southpaw Andrew Nardi struck out the next two batters before righty Calvin Faucher fanned Julio Rodríguez to end the frame.

“Everybody has been contributing, but it starts with the pitching,” Schumaker said. “The pitching has been unbelievable. From getting out of the jam from Faucher, great job by [Huascar Brazoban], Nardi, Tanner [Scott]. I mean up and down. [Anthony] Bender's last inning. So I think it starts there and gives us a chance to come back and to win. Trevor was incredible tonight.”

While the pitching kept it close, Bryan De La Cruz and Josh Bell went back to back in the sixth to tie the game at 2 against right-hander George Kirby. Miami has gone back to back in consecutive games for the first time since June 21-22, 2022.

“This is a very incredible feeling,” De La Cruz said via interpreter Luis Dorante Jr. “It's something that you're right there just hoping for it to happen. But three walk-offs in a row, oh my gosh, it's difficult to explain. It's a beautiful feeling to have.”