Without question, Scott Cousins' pinch-hit triples in back-to-back games is fluky. But, for Cousins, the triple itself isn't such a rare bird. He led Double A with 11 triples in 2009 and set a Marlins minor-league record in the process.
Cousins came off the bench on Friday to deliver a pinch-hit triple into the right field corner at Miller Park. On Saturday, he did it again. Same spot. And he might be sitting on three pinch-hit triples had he gambled on a ball he hit off Roy Oswalt into the right-field corner in Philadelphia. He ended up with a double, but third base coach Joe Espada told him afterward he should have gone for three. Remember, the fledgling rookie Cousins only has 26 at bats so far with the Marlins.
A left-handed line drive hitter with above-average speed, Cousins said he used to be content with doubles. But after it dawned on him that he could usually reach third on balls hit into the corner, he began taking more chances.
"I came to the realization that it's a really difficult play for the right fielder to throw me out from the corner," Cousins said. "It's a tough play for him to get it to the cutoff. It's a long throw, like the longest part of the field. So it's a lot easier to take off and make them be perfect, when before I was tentative and I would stop at second base because I wasn't sure. It was a matter of getting over that fear of being thrown out."
Cousins said he doesn't take unnecessary risks, especially with two outs. But the situation was ripe for risk-taking Saturday when he came up to pinch-hit with one out in the ninth and the Marlins holding a 3-0 lead over the Brewers.
"There was one out and nobody on base, and we needed an insurance run," Cousins said. "So I was trying to get to third."
Cousins succeeded, and ended up scoring on Ozzie Martinez's RBI hit.
By the way, for future reference, Juan Pierre holds the Marlins' single-season record for triples with 13, which he set in 2005.
AS THE OZZIE TURNS.....Every day, it seems, there's some new twist in the Ozzie Guillen saga with the White Sox, one the Marlins are watching with interest from afar. Even though he has another year remaining on his contract and the White Sox hold a club option for 2012, Guillen says he wants the Sox to show him some love, loosely translated as a contract extension. White Sox G.M. Ken Williams said that if Guillen wants to cut out after the season, nobody's stopping him. Guillen keeps saying that his first choice is to stay with the White Sox forever -- forever being a relative term for managers. At the same time, Guillen says that if the White Sox don't want him, don't give him that love, he'd consider the crosstown Chicago Cubs, who, like the Marlins, are in manager-search mode. It'll be interesting to see how it all goes down. Stay tuned.
Today's Lineup (Game 155)
Marlins: 1. Cameron Maybin, cf; 2. Ozzie Martinez, ss; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Dan Uggla, 2b; 5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. Wes Helms, 3b; 8. Chris Hatcher, c; 9. Adalberto Mendez, p.