If Marcell Ozuna's game-winning throw to the plate to nail the Mets' Kirk Nieuwenhuis felt pretty rare to you it's because it was.
It was the first time in Marlins regular season history -- and the first since J.T. Snow's infamous collision at the plate with Pudge Rodriguez in the 2003 NL Wild Card Series -- a Marlins game has ended with an outfield assist at the plate. It also was the first time a Marlins outfielder recorded two assists at the plate in the same game since Joe Orsulak on Sept. 7, 1996 against Montreal.
That historic collision between Snow and Rodriguez didn't enter Marlins manager Mike Redmond's mind.
"I'm not going to tell you what I was thinking. You can't print what I was thinking," a relieved Redmond said after the Marlins bullpen nearly blew a three-run lead and a win for Henderson Alvarez.
"It looked to me like it was deep enough to score that run," Redmond continued. "But O, he did a tremendous job getting back on the ball and getting some momentum going forward. There was really only one spot where he could put that ball to win that game for us and he executed. And then a great tag. And then the beauty of replay you can't celebrate too much because you have to look at it. That's the nature of the game now. There's nothing wrong with that. We would have done the same thing. But it was nice to win that one. We needed to win that one. Hopefully that's going to be the spark that we need to get going."
The Mets appealed Saltalamacchia didn't give Nieuwenhuis -- or David Wright when he was gunned out at the plate in the eighth -- a lane for the runners to slide into. But replays confirmed the calls made on the field by plate umpire Lance Barrett.
"I thought he was fine," Redmond said. "There's still sort of that little gray area where we're not really sure. But he had the ball well before the guys were there. And once you have the ball you can block the plate. For me, he had the ball both instances well before the runner got there even sliding. It looked clean to me.
"Guarantee in both those situations, given the magnitude of those runs there definitely would have been collisions [before the new rule]. But those are slides now."
Mets manager Terry Collins contended afterward Wright was given no room to slide. "David saw no plate," he said. "None."
> Starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, who had pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and a team trainer out to see him in the third inning, said his hamstring tightened up on him. But he says he fine.