Unquestionably, the Miami Marlins played – and won – the emotional card Monday night in beating the Mets. The pre-game ceremonies honoring Jose Fernandez were touching and emotional; not a dry eye in the house.
The trumpet solo of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,’’ was beyond belief. Who would have expected that? Then there was the emotional meeting of the Mets and Marlins at the pitcher’s mound, reminiscent of the night of Mike Piazza’s homer when the Mets and Braves embraced.
“This is bigger than baseball,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “This kid touched a lot of people. They jumped on us early and took the air out of the balloon.”
While it had to be tough for them, the Mets’ players conducted themselves with class and dignity and understood the anguish of the Marlins and let them have their moment.
“This team is first class,” Collins said of his players. “Our organization is first class. … They respected the night.”
None of that can be planned. That has to come from the heart.
“There’s no script for this,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly.
Dee Gordon immediately captured the hearts of the crowd by leading off the game with a home run. He first honored Fernandez by taking the pitcher’s right-handed stance and wearing his helmet. After one pitch, he switched to his normal left-handed stance and homered and broke down in tears when he reached the plate.
The game was emotionally over then, but the Marlins put a nice touch on the night when they circled the mound and left their caps on the rubber that was Fernandez’s domain.
Collins understood the emotion of the night, that didn’t but didn’t share the fans’ enthusiasm with the Marlins’ 7-3 victory.
“It’s hard,’’ Collins said. “It’s always for Jose, but I like to win. … I said yesterday I would be glad when this day is over, and I’m glad it is over.’’
Through it all, the Mets caught a break when Cincinnati routed the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Emotions, of course, was the main storyline. The others were Bartolo Colon’s short night and the Mets’ listless offense.
COLON DIDN’T HAVE IT: Colon flexed his legs that made us wonder if something is physically wrong with the Mets’ only remaining healthy pitcher.
Colon gave ups seven runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings. He hadn’t had a start this poor since only four innings, Aug. 15, in Arizona.
“He didn’t have his good stuff tonight,’’ Collins said, adding he hopes it is different Saturday in Philadelphia.
Collins thought something was wrong with Colon’s calf, but said the pitcher is fine.
THE OFFENSE DISAPPEARED: The Mets scored 44 runs in their four games against the Phillies, but came up empty tonight.
The Mets produced only seven hits against nine Marlins pitchers.
Jay Bruce started again and got another hit. Perhaps he’s turned it around.
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