Pinch-run delay bothers Marlins
Having a pitcher wait around on the mound for a replacement once is rare. For a delay to occur twice within a week, has some Marlins a little bothered.
The awkward delay in the fifth inning on Sunday at Wrigley Field was the latest incident involving the Marlins.
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano reached on a bunt single off Ricky Nolasco. But when sprinting to first, Zambrano strained his left hamstring. Zambrano was examined by the trainer, causing a brief delay. Then manager Lou Piniella heads over, causing more time to pass as Nolasco is standing around.
Zambrano stays in game, and Alfonso Soriano steps in to hit. Then the Cubs dugout calls time, and Zambrano is replaced by a pinch runner. However, the runner is Rich Harden, who doesn’t have the proper shoes on. So Harden takes a few minutes to get ready.
Again a delay. Nolasco is given the option to throw pitches as he waits.
Four batters later, Derrek Lee hits the grand slam.
“I don’t understand what’s going on there,” Nolasco said of the delay. “I don’t know how that’s acceptable. It doesn’t affect me, but it’s just odd. I don’t know how it’s allowed to happen.”
The irony is Sunday marked the second time during the road trip that a Marlins pitcher was standing around for a delay caused during a substitution by the opposing team.
In the ninth inning of last Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Mets at Citi Field, New York manager Jerry Manuel called for Omir Santos to pitch hit with the bases loaded and two outs. Santos, a catcher, was in the bullpen, and it took him several minutes to reach the mound. Matt Lindstrom awaited his arrival, and he was given permission to throw warmup pitches. Even though the Marlins won that day, the were upset by the stoppage.
A few days ago, the Marlins sent a letter to MLB regarding the incident, and the league on Saturday levied an undisclosed fine on Manuel for violating the league’s “pace of game” stipulations.
“That’s the second time that happened to us this year,” catcher John Baker said. “The first time it worked out OK, but it’s frustrating. You’ve got a guy in a big situation standing on the mound. He wasn’t quite the same. It’s not necessarily an excuse for him, but it kind of is, in a sense. As a catcher, you see something is different.
“He has to wait, and throw a couple of warmup pitches. Even Soriano was a little bit frustrated as a hitter. He kept kind of looking in the dugout, throwing his hands up, like saying ‘Let’s go.’ “
— Joe Frisaro