SAN FRANCISCO -- For hours at a time -- from the first pitch to the final out -- he sits inside the clubhouse staring at a video monitor that is divided up into 15 screens showing the field from different angles.
Few people outside of the team know his name.
But after the Marlins defeated the Giants late Saturday, Pat Shine was given the game ball.
“In my mind,” said winning pitcher Tom Koehler, who turned in seven scoreless innings in the 5-0 win, “Pat Shine won the game today. What he did was unbelievable.”
What Shine did was spot the Giants’ Brandon Hicks failing to touch first base while on his way to second after hitting a ball off the wall in the second inning.
Shine immediately phoned the dugout to alert manager Mike Redmond, who challenged the play under baseball’s new replay rules. After the reviewing the replays, the umps overturned the call. Hicks was out.
Had Shine not noticed and Hicks was allowed to stay where he was, the Giants would have had runners at second and third with one out. Instead, Hicks became the second out and Koehler finished off the inning by retiring the Giants’ next hitter.
“It takes guts to call down there and say you guys need to challenge this, because if he’s wrong, you lose your challenge in the second inning of the game,” Koehler said. “He’s been spot on all year with them.”
Chimed in pitcher Jacob Turner: “He’s the best in the league.”
Shine is like having an extra set of eyes. No one else on the Marlins noticed Hicks miss the bag. Redmond said he and the coaches were following the flight of the ball to see if it hit fair or foul.
The Marlins have been successful with eight of their nine replay challenges this season.
Koehler said that Shine examines every base hit, making sure that not only the batters touch every base, but every runner ahead of him does as well.
“That aspect of the game, in my opinion, is just as important as the on-field stuff,” Koehler said. “If you have a chance to overturn a call and get an out...it’s like having a lefty specialist coming out of the bullpen.”
By team rule, Shine -- who was hired late in spring training as an administrative coach in charge of reviewing plays -- is not allowed to talk to the media.
Giancarlo Stanton was given a day off on Sunday, something Redmond has been wanting to do to give his slugger a breather.
Stanton had started every game until Sunday.