It’s true that 2012 was a colossal disappointment for the Miami Marlins and their optimistic organization. However, the year did provide some memorable moments from entertaining players. Looking back, most of the highlights were expected: Giancarlo Stanton crushing moonshots, Ricky Nolasco providing stellar performances, and the Marlins continuing to shut down the Nationals. But there was one surprise this season–the emergence of Justin Ruggiano.
Catch of the Year: Ruggiano leads off my highlight reel with this stellar, run-saving catch. As a centerfielder myself, I can attest that the toughest play to make is on a hard-hit ball angled directly at me. Justin made a quick turn on this one and was able to make an outstanding catch.
Walk-off of the Year: The Marlins had an inordinately high amount of walk-off wins through May, but only one walk-off home run the entire year. Giancarlo Stanton saved Mothers’ Day with this walk-off grand slam, beating the Mets. The Marlins’ big inning saved Heath Bell, who failed to shut down New York in the top half of the frame.
Pitching Performance of the Year: Twice in the span of a month, Ricky Nolasco shut out the Nationals with complete games. The first was in late August in Miami. He allowed five hits, and the Marlins prevailed 9-0. In early September at Nationals Park, Ricky did it again, only allowing four hits. The Marlins won 8-0, and no National made it past second base.
Home Run of the Year: The LONGEST home run of 2012 in ALL of Major League Baseball was Giancarlo Stanton’s 494-foot behemoth at Coors Field in August. So what if he was aided by low air pressure? I didn’t see anyone else hit one that far in Denver in the 81 games played there this season. Note: Stanton would provide more entertainment on Discovery Channel’s MonsterQuest than any of the mythical beasts they feature.
Inning of the Year: The Marlins decided to unleash the entirety of their 2012 frustration during the fourth inning of their August 20th impalement of the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Giancarlo Stanton, who homered twice in the game (part of his west coast tear), and Justin Ruggiano hit back-to-back shots in the inning, highlighting the nine-run rally that put Arizona to rest. The video would not embed, so here is the link
These were just a few of the Marlins’ exciting moments of 2012. Hopefully, there will be more reason to celebrate in 2013.