Legends On Deck

Miami Marlins Defeat New York Mets on Emotional Night

Photo Courtesy of CBSSports.com

Photo Courtesy of CBSSports.com

The word emotional can’t even begin to describe the scene Monday night at Marlins Park.  Somehow, after the tragic death of Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez just a day before, a game needed to be played.  The show must go on, as the old adage goes.  Without a dry eye in the stadium, it went on.  Jose would have wanted it that way.

There is never a script for what to do during these types of circumstances, because it is nothing you can plan for.  The Miami Marlins handled it beautifully.

As the cameras panned up and down the third baseline after a touching video tribute to their teammate, it was obvious that this was going to be a difficult night to get through.  Players, coaches, and fans alike were overcome with emotion and many couldn’t hold back the tears.

After a somber one-trumpet rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and an almost angelic version of the “Star-Spangled Banner”, the Marlins made their way out to a vacant pitchers mound where their fallen brother was supposed to occupy.  All wearing Fernandez’s “16” jersey, they knelt down and simply etched the number 16 in the dirt on the pitchers mound with their fingers, then huddled together.

The New York Mets team stood pat on their side of the field until the Marlins broke their huddle.  Without any sort of hesitation, to show their respect, the Mets and the Marlins met on the field and embraced one another.


Lynee Sladky/Associated Press

Still visibly overcome with emotion, the Marlins took the field and settled in to their positions.  Young Marlins lefty Adam Conley had the arduous task of taking the mound to start the game.  It was his first start for Miami since the middle of August.

As if there was another way to start it, Conley’s first pitch to the Mets Jose Reyes was in there for a strike.  Reyes swung at the next pitch he saw hitting a ground ball to where else?  The pitchers mound.  Conley snagged the ball and tossed it over to Justin Bour for the first out of the game.  Asdrubal Cabrera would hit a single the very next pitch, but the Mets would strand him on base to end the top half of the first inning.

Dee Gordon led the game for the Marlins in the bottom of the first.  The left-handed Gordon would pay tribute to Fernandez on the first pitch of the game standing on the right side batters box, which is the one he would have stood in.  After taking a ball from the Mets’ Bartolo Colon, Gordon switched back to his normal hitting side.

Two pitches later, as if out of a Hollywood script, Gordon smashed Colon’s 2-0 pitch and sent it into the second deck in right field. With tears streaming down his face, Gordon rounded the bases and was met with a huge hug when he touched home.  All of the Marlins players met him as he headed back to the dugout, most with tears of their own, to give him a hug.

Gary Cohen, who is the Mets broadcaster for SNY, summed it up in the best way possible during the broadcast.  He said “I don’t care who you are, who you root for, or how badly you want the Mets to be in the postseason………that was phenomenal” speaking of Gordon’s home run.

The Mets went in order in the second inning which opened it up for the Marlins to pour it on.  Miami would tag Colon with four more runs in the second inning and two more in the third for good measure.

New York tried to claw their way back into this one, but there was no way the Marlins were going to allow that to happen.  Not on this night.

Gordon finished the night going 4-for-5 with a run scored and two driven in.  Justin Bourwho missed a portion of the season due to injury, went 3-for-3 including a rumbling triple.  He was just a home run shy of the cycle which would have been the first in franchise history.

All-in-all, the Marlins rattled off 14 hits en-route to a 7-3 victory over their Division rival.

It was an adrenaline and emotion filled game for Miami.  There was another force present at the stadium last night that could be seen and felt even for those that were not there but viewing it on television.  It was as if Fernandez was there pushing them during each pitch and each at-bat.  They weren’t going to be denied.

What amazes me the most about this unfortunate situation, is how much impact a guy had on this game.  He was just 24-years old and was already in the discussions as one of the best in baseball now and possibly could have been one of the best in history.  As it was said multiple times over the last couple of days, baseball needed Jose Fernandez.  Someday there will be another player similar to Jose that plays the game the way he did and never takes for granted the talent they have or the opportunity in front of them.  But this one is going to hurt for awhile.

One more thing to add about the game last night.  The Marlins recorded 14 hits and two walks for a total of 16.


John has recently graduated from the University at Albany with a B.A. in History and is currently finishing his Master's Degree there as well in secondary education. After being away from school for over two decades he decided to go back and work towards his dream of becoming a social studies teacher.

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