As 11 p.m. approaches, bowler Ron Marinaccio moves into the Yankees barn and his mother moves on the sofa at home in Toms River, NJ
“He woke up!” Ron’s father told her, with a sense of something special about to happen when their son loosened his arm. “he is coming.”
Renee and her husband — also called Ron — watched their son close to the Cubs at the top of the 13th inning on Friday night, then rally late-night energy to a high after giving an RBI song to Jose Trevino in the bottom of the frame. Son of the first win of his career in MLB.
“I knew he was coming into the tie game and had the opportunity to take his first win,” the elder Ron told The Post. “I was praying for [game-winning Yankees] He hits.”
Marinaccio’s parents, brother, and fiancée make the trip across the bridge as often as possible to see the novice who grew up as a Yankees fan on the Jersey Shore. The four skipped Friday’s trip with no way of knowing it was going to be a game to remember. Marinaccio was the sixth loyalist used in what was only the seventh MLB game to last 13 rounds since the addition of the additional ghost runner in 2020.
“They text me and then I’m sure they slept again,” Marinaccio joked about his parents. “But they were all excited in the morning.”
Indeed, there was an uproar on Saturday at a fundraiser at Toms River, as fellow residents sought to visit Marinaccios to offer congratulations.
“It wasn’t an ordinary day,” Rene said. “Our phones go off all day and overnight.”
Since he left the pile with no way of knowing he’s about to be the winning bowler, Marinaccio didn’t put the game ball as a souvenir. He’s hoping to get a line-up card to frame and match the card resting at the foot of his closet from his MLB debut on April 9.
“The first win is definitely a huge achievement, but I’m really excited to start feeling more comfortable and helping the team win,” said Marinaccio, who turns 27 on July 1. “The guys here have been great at this: everyone congratulates you on the first one.”
After running twice and hitting another in a grueling May 29 outing against Reyes, Marinaccio reclaimed four goals-less runs, including following up on Friday’s win by retiring three of the four hitters who faced in the Yankees’ 8-0 win over the Cubs as he made on consecutive days for the first Once.
“You have to be able to deal with setbacks and adversity,” said manager Aaron Boone. “It’s a sign of being able to stay here, because it’s going to happen. He went on a walk like that and wasn’t shocked by it. He’s upset about it, and that’s a good reaction because he’s confident he can. He’s done a great job, and I think he’s someone who has a chance of having a long career here” .
Marinaccio, who used to play lopsided matches as a last option in the Bullpen, learned from his struggles in a rare big spot to be more aggressive early on in the count and use the fast ball. The top of the Cubs lineup paid the price for Rays’ success.
“I spoke to a couple of people as soon as I got out of that one and said, ‘I wish I could go in there and do it again,’” Marinaccio said. “It was hard to sit on that. I was very negative and tried to be somewhat perfect because it was one of the biggest situations I’ve been in so far. I took a while to think about it and say, ‘Trust your stuff a little more’. I got a better result [Friday] night.”
Not just better. never forget.