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The bunt that wasn't figures in wild win for Marlins

    CHICAGO -- John Buck has dropped down exactly one sacrifice bunt over the past 4 1/2 seasons. Bunting is not his thing. But when the first two Marlins hitters in the ninth reached on walks delivered by Cubs closer Carlos Marmol on Thursday, manager Jack McKeon ordered Buck to bunt.

     Buck never put wood on any Marmol pitch, but it didn't matter, since none of them found the strike zone. Buck ended up walking, and the Marlins roared back from a 2-0 deficit in the ninth to win 6-3.

      Breaking into a smile afterward, Buck described his at bat, one that preceded pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs' bases-clearing double.

      "(Jack) asked me if I can bunt," Buck said. "I said, 'I'm a catcher. Of course I can bunt. When I went up there, (Marmol) was pretty erratic, so I wanted to make sure it was a ball over the plate. The first one was a slider that was nowhere near, the second one was nowhere near. Then I was kind of looking in (to the dugout) to see if Jack wanted me to take. And he said, no, put it down. That's when Marmol almost hit me in the crotch. And then it was 3-0 and I was taking."

     Marmol walked the bases loaded on only 13 pitches.

     Said Mike Cameron, who was the second of the three straight Marlins to walk to start the ninth - and one of six Marlins to walk in the six-run inning: "Marmol wasn't throwing strikes at all. That's Marmol for you. He can dot you with three or he can throw that thing everywhere."

     It was yet another improbable win for the Marlins at Wrigley Field, where they've had many over the years. They're now 39-39 at Wrigley, not counting the '03 NLCS when they won three of the four games here.

Comments

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Edwin

Good thing Marmol was wild...Buck cant hit,cant bunt and probably would have screwed up,leading to a marlins loss.

andy

buck sucks

Michael

And Edwin if I had wings I could fly. Results speak for themselves.

Stan M

Loved the game. However, it is disconserting to hear that McKeon still wanted Buck to bunt afer the count reached 2-0. He simply had to take a strike at that time. If not taking, then hitting away on the "cripple" pitch had a better chance than bunting. Wouldn't a successful bunt have taken the bat out of Dobbs hands for he would have been walked. It makes no sense, so thank the Lord for balls 3 and 4. And yes, we won, but again Nunez was exposed. Trade the guy now while he still has value; any value.

Gary

I agree with all voicing to trade Nunez for anything we can get before he washes down the drain. He is a deer in the headlights, no lead is safe in the 9th ! "If" we were a playoff team, is that who we're sending out to hold a lead? Batters don't fear him, only Marlin's fans seem to.

Glags

Nunez needs a two to three run cushion in order to get saves. What a joke. I'm not sure that we have a better option though. With that being said I don't know who wrote the book on closing but it's a stupid concept. If a guy can get three outs in the fifth or sixth inning why wouldn't he be able to in the ninth. Shouldn't the objective of every reliever be to get outs regardless of the situation. I don't get it. Anyways, Nunez sucks and it won't matter if he's traded he won't bring back much of value.

laurelbowie

Glags,
I agree that the notion of a "closer" is nonsense. They should all be closers if the idea is to be able to come in and pitch one scoreless inning.
I think the idea of "closing' began when most relief pitchers were expected to go three or four innings. They'd get it to the ninth and then the "max effort" guy would come in and seal the deal. Now MOST relief pitchers are one inning and done, so what difference does it make which one pitches the final inning? I think Jack used four relievers in one inning last night — and that was an inning where the Cubs got just one run. Rich or Tommy one said the other night that every team's fans think their closer sucks. Don't know whether that's true or not, but I'm sure Cubs fans think so.

Flav C

Buck has started 94% of the Marlins games this season and is batting .218, at this pace, he will finish the season close to 150 games! The only other catcher in the NL that has played this much is McCann. Buck has never played this much, maximum was 118 games. If at this point he is batting so badly, can you imagine by the end of the season? McCann last season was playing horribly in September, after playing close to 140 games. Played even worse during the play-offs. Now put in perspective that Buck is not as talented as McCann at bat and with his arm. How much more can this guy hurt the team? The Reds wisely wise both catchers in intervals of 3-4 games and both are producing good results. Can't the Marlins to the same?

geebee

Hopfully Buck will sit more often during the hot weather...Jack still thinks Cameron has some gas in the tank..He must know something nobody else knows..Petersen should get more playing time..might be better all-around player than Cogs..

spitballer

8 wins this month...only need 10 more to hit my 18 win prediction....we might go over that!

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