Atlanta at Florida

Scoreboard
Atlanta00021003006140
Florida «00100030217140

Marlins rally for 10-inning win in McKeon's final game

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

MIAMI -- When Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon told his players Sunday he was calling it quits, they responded with applause and hugs -- and then a comeback win.

Rookie Jeremy Hermida hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, and Juan Pierre's two-out RBI single in the 10th beat the playoff-bound Atlanta Braves 7-6.

McKeon's resignation had been expected, and he confirmed it to the team in the clubhouse before the game.

"He got very emotional when he told us, like your granddad is going away and you're not going to see him anymore," veteran Jeff Conine said. "It's tough for him. Baseball is his life."

McKeon led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series title and a winning record in each of his three seasons as manager. Now 74, he said he told his family last year that this season would be his last, and he decided almost two months ago to keep that pledge. But he didn't rule out managing again.

"The last couple of years I haven't had as much fun as I'd like," McKeon said. "Since I'm the leader, I'll take full responsibility for the poor year we had."

Florida was touted as a likely playoff team but faded in September for the second year in a row and finished 83-79. Players grumbled about McKeon's gruff style, but injuries, poor relief pitching and a lack of clutch hitting made his job difficult.

The Braves, who clinched their 14th consecutive division title Tuesday, begin the playoffs at home Wednesday against Houston. The Astros eliminated Atlanta in the division series last year.

"Anything that can help us get motivated is good enough for me," second baseman Marcus Giles said. "If it's about revenge, then that's what it might take."

Right-hander John Smoltz said he expects to start Game 1 for Atlanta.

"It should be an exciting series," he said, "but I don't foresee a lot of runs being scored."

With Bobby Cox's regulars seeing limited action, the Braves lost their final four regular-season games. They were one out from winning the finale when Hermida homered off Kyle Davies to force extra innings.

Florida rookie Josh Wilson led off the 10th with a double off Davies (7-6), and Pierre came through with his fifth hit, a two-out RBI single off first baseman Adam LaRoche's glove.

Florida led 4-3 when Todd Jones replaced Dontrelle Willis, who was bidding for his 23rd victory. Five singles helped the Braves score three runs in the eighth inning off Jones, who blew a save for the fifth time in 45 chances.

Willis struck out a career-high 12 and shrugged off his failure to become the first 23-game winner since 2002.

"We won," he said. "It's a sweet feeling going out and shaking hands on the final day."

Willis said he was saddened by McKeon's decision to resign.

"He's a great baseball mind," Willis said. "But he wants to get with his family, and you've got to respect that."

The third-oldest manager in major-league history, McKeon will remain with the Marlins as an adviser -- and he's open to offers from other teams.

"Sometimes you need to step back and maybe take a breather for six or seven months and get recharged," he said. "I haven't given up the thought of managing again."

McKeon, who began his managerial career in the minors 50 years ago, became the 52nd manager to earn 1,000 major-league wins Sept. 3. Three of the Marlins' four winning seasons came since he came on board in May 2003.

"He taught our organization to work hard," general manager Larry Beinfest said. "That set the tone for all the good things that happened to us."

Beinfest said the team will likely wait until after the World Series to hire a replacement.

The Marlins held a one-game lead in the NL wild-card race Sept. 14 but lost 12 of their next 14 games. The meltdown included the banishment of pitcher A.J. Burnett for criticizing McKeon and his staff as being unsupportive and too conservative.

McKeon said he thanked his players for their efforts during the clubhouse meeting before his final game.

"I also told them," he said with a smile, "that if I offended anybody and hurt their feelings, it wasn't on purpose."

Notes

  • With the Miami Dolphins off, the crowd included team owner Wayne Huizenga.
  • Willis batted seventh -- the fourth consecutive time he has hit higher than ninth -- and singled leading off the seventh to hike his average to .261.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Jack McKeon waves goodbye after a successful three-year stint as Marlins manager.  (AP)
Jack McKeon waves goodbye after a successful three-year stint as Marlins manager. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Pierre
AB 6
R 0
H 5
HR 0
RBI 3
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 

Related Video

December 17, 2014
Falcons at Saints Preview (2:56)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Harry Douglas
(0:41)
December 18, 2014
Expectations for 2015 Titans
(1:22)
December 18, 2014
Expectations for 2015 Jaguars
(1:39)

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Chicago Cubs Nike Royal Blue Classic Pullover Hoodie

Free Shipping over $50 order!
Use code SHIPNOW
Get their favorite team gear
Shop Now

Atlanta Braves
Rafael Furcal, SS3020010 .284
    Wilson Betemit, SS2012001 .305
Marcus Giles, 2B3000011 .291
    Pete Orr, 2B2000011 .300
Chipper Jones, 3B3121011 .296
    Andy Marte, 3B1000110 .140
Andruw Jones, CF3010012 .263
    Ryan Langerhans, PR-CF1000110 .267
Julio Franco, 1B2110112 .275
    Adam LaRoche, PR-1B2000001 .259
Jeff Francoeur, RF5110023 .300
Brian Jordan, LF3110020 .247
    Joey Devine, P0000000 .000
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    John Foster, P0000000 .000
    Jim Brower, P0000000 .000
   a- Johnny Estrada, PH1010000 .261
    Kelly Johnson, PR0100000 .241
    Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
    Kyle Davies, P1000010 .200
Brian McCann, C5123000 .278
Horacio Ramirez, P2000011 .219
   b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-LF2020000 .244
Totals41614631413 
a-singled for Brower in the 8th
b-singled for Ramirez in the 6th
Batting
2B - Brian McCann (7, Willis)
3B - Rafael Furcal (11, Willis)
HR - Chipper Jones (21, Willis)
RBI - Wilson Betemit 2 (20), Chipper Jones (72), Brian McCann 3 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones (24), Brian McCann 2 (8)
CS - Andy Marte (1, 2nd base by Willis/Treanor)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Furcal-Giles-Franco, Orr-Betemit
Atlanta Braves
Horacio Ramirez 5511140 4.63
Joey Devine (H,1) 1100110 12.60
Blaine Boyer (BS,2)0333100 3.11
John Foster0100000 4.15
Jim Brower 1000110 5.37
Kyle Farnsworth (H,19) 1000100 2.19
Kyle Davies (BS,1; L,7-6) 1.2433001 4.93
IBB - Cabrera by Jim Brower
HBP - Wilson (by Kyle Farnsworth)
Pitches-Strikes - Horacio Ramirez 69-46, Joey Devine 16-10, Blaine Boyer 22-13, John Foster 4-2, Jim Brower 18-10, Kyle Farnsworth 11-6, Kyle Davies 31-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Horacio Ramirez 8-1, Jim Brower 2-0, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1, Kyle Davies 1-4
Batters Faced - Horacio Ramirez 19, Joey Devine 5, Blaine Boyer 4, John Foster 1, Jim Brower 4, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Kyle Davies 9
Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF6053002 .276
Chris Aguila, LF3011012 .244
   a- Carlos Delgado, PH-1B2011000 .301
Jeff Conine, 1B-LF5110003 .304
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3000211 .323
Jeremy Hermida, RF5122023 .293
Mike Lowell, 2B4000105 .236
Dontrelle Willis, P3010001 .261
    Jason Vargas, PR0100000 .308
    Josh Wilson, SS1110000 .100
Robert Andino, SS2000020 .159
   b- Joe Dillon, PH1110000 .167
    Todd Jones, P0000000 .333
   c- Lenny Harris, PH0000100 .314
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
   d- Paul Lo Duca, PH1000001 .283
Matt Treanor, C2110000 .201
   e- Josh Willingham, PH-C1100101 .304
Totals3971475619 
a-singled for Aguila in the 7th
b-doubled for Andino in the 7th
c-walked for T. Jones in the 8th
d-lined out for Villone in the 10th
e-walked for Treanor in the 7th
Batting
2B - Josh Wilson (1, Davies), Joe Dillon (1, Boyer), Matt Treanor (8, Ramirez)
HR - Jeremy Hermida (4, Davies)
SH - Josh Willingham (1)
RBI - Juan Pierre 3 (47), Chris Aguila (4), Carlos Delgado (115), Jeremy Hermida 2 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Pierre (22), Chris Aguila (2), Jeremy Hermida 2 (5)
CS - Juan Pierre (17, 2nd base by Ramirez/McCann)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Conine 1
DP - Wilson-Delgado
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis 79332121 2.63
Todd Jones (BS,5) 1533000 2.10
Ron Villone (W,5-5) 2000120 4.08
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 120-79, Todd Jones 19-13, Ron Villone 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 4-4, Todd Jones 1-1, Ron Villone 1-2
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 31, Todd Jones 7, Ron Villone 6
Game Information
Attendance - 29214
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Jeff Nelson