It became the longest at bat in Marlins history.
And it turned out to be the catalyst to their 2-1 victory over the New York Mets.
Dee Gordon struck out four times on Tuesday.
But it was the one time he didn’t that most will remember.
Gordon saw 16 pitches in his eighth-inning at bat against Mets reliever Jim Henderson, fouling off 11 straight at one point before blooping a single to left. He would end up scoring the deciding run, as a result.
According to Stats Inc., it was the longest at bat ever by a Marlin. The previous record of 15 pitches in a single at bat was shared by Gregg Zaun (1998) and Mike Lowell (2001).
Ricky Gutierrez is believed to hold the modern-day record for longest at-bat in major league history with a 20-pitch at-bat in 1998.
“It was the difference in the whole game,” said Mets manager Terry Collins of Gordon’s marathon plate appearance. “Tremendous at bat.”
Gordon said he lost track of the number of pitches about midway through the at bat.
“You know what’s weird?” Gordon said. “I thought it was, like, seven pitches. When I looked up, it was like 13. I was like ‘all right,’ and kept battling.”
The score was tied 1-1 when Gordon stepped to the plate to lead off the eighth. He had already struck out three times facing Mets ace Noah Syndergaard and was in danger of striking out fourth time when Henderson worked the count to 1-2.
But after taking the next two pitches for balls, Gordon proceeded to foul off 11 straight pitches as Henderson threw him one fastball after another.
“You’ve got to give him credit, but we had a pretty good night throwing high fastballs behind him,” Collins said. “He just kept fouling them off until he got something off-speed off the plate.”
Two of the foul balls landed in the Marlins dugout, barely eluding the outstretched glove of Mets third baseman David Wright.
“We could have played that game all night I think,” Henderson said. “Everything worked out perfect for him. There were two balls that fell just foul out of reach, and then it’s not like we’re playing very deep in left, either.”
Finally, on the 16th pitch, Henderson threw a breaking ball that Gordon lofted into short left for a base hit. Gordon then stole second and ended up scoring from third on Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly.
“He just battled,” Mattingly said. “When you do that, and then end up with a hit -- even if you don’t -- it’s a great at bat. But when you end up with a hit, it’s something that’s really uplifting to the club.”
Dee Gordon’s at bat, pitch by pitch
3. Swinging strike
16. Bloop single