If you missed the ninth inning Tuesday night, you missed one of the rare moments when Dee Gordon and Adeiny Hechavarria weren’t on the same page.
With a runner on first base and nobody out, Ian Desmond sent a tailor-made double-play ball to Gordon. But instead of turning two, Hechavarria dropped the throw from Gordon, committing only his second error of the season and opening the door for a potential rally by the Nationals.
“I was pissed,” Gordon said of his throw. “The ball was a little wet. I didn’t want to throw it away so I gripped it a little harder and threw the crap out of it. Thankfully we survived it. [Closer Steve] Cishek picked us up. So we owe him.”
Marlins pitchers know they owe their middle infielders a lot more than Hechavarria and Gordon owe them. Together, they have combined to make only three errors in 263 chances this season. They’ve turned 19 double plays and countless highlight-reel plays.
Gordon had another Tuesday, making a pivotal diving stop up the middle in the seventh inning to prevent what would have been the tying hit. Afterward, Gordon gave all the credit to infield coach Perry Hill for putting him in the right spot.
“Bone’s been great for me,” Gordon said. “Before Bone, I didn't know to [move to different marks on different counts]. I was just being athletic and catching a baseball. He’s taught me a lot.”
When the Marlins last won the World Series in 2003, they had one of the best defenses in baseball, a unit anchored up the middle by the double play tandem of Alex Gonzalez and Luis Castillo.
Hill, who coached that tandem, feels like the Marlins have formed another special pair.
This and that
▪ Third baseman Martin Prado is nowhere near the top 100 in active players hit by pitches, but Tuesday night he was hit for the second time in four days. Prado was plunked on the back of his left arm on a 95-mph heater from Aaron Barrett in the ninth inning. Wednesday morning, the back of Prado's left arm was bandaged up.
▪ First baseman Michael Morse, benched for the third straight day Wednesday, will receive his World Series ring from the Giants after the Marlins arrive in San Francisco on Thursday. He’s not sure which day the team will present him with the ring. “It’s beautiful,” Morse said. “Three diamonds on top, five on the bottom for three [titles] in five [years]. Inside it says some of the big moments of the playoffs, the scores of the games and stuff. It’s pretty cool.”
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Dan Haren (3-1, 2.70) at Giants RHP Tim Hudson (1-2, 3.78), 10:15 p.m.
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (1-2, 2.97) at Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (2-2, 2.40), 10:15 p.m.