Mets Merized Online Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:48:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Bounce Back To Rock Fish 12-1 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:32:33 +0000 noah-syndergaard

After an emotional evening last night, the Mets (84-74) bounced back to defeat the Miami Marlins (78-79) by a score of 12-1 tonight at Marlins Park. The Cardinals are winning against the Reds tonight, and the Giants just started so we will have to wait for the wild card standings later on tonight.


Noah Syndergaard returned from strep throat tonight to face the Marlins, and pitched well, firing six innings of one run ball, scattering five hits and struck out eight. Syndergaard improves to 14-9 on the season with a 2.60 ERA.

Fernando Salas pitched a lock down seventh, and Addison Reed pitched a clean eighth as a bridge to Jeurys Familia.

Familia came on with an 11 run lead, and sealed the win for the Amazin’s.



The Mets touched the Marlins up for 12 runs on 19 hits tonight in Miami. Seven different Mets had at least two hits tonight.

After the Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first, Jay Bruce put the Mets in front, launching a two-run shot to right.

Yoenis Cespedes then doubled the score, launching his 31st homer of the year. 4-1 Mets.

In the eighth, the Mets blew the doors off the game, scoring five runs, three of which came on a base clearing double from Lucas Duda.

Just for good measure, the Mets put up a three spot in the ninth to make it 12-1.

Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson each had three RBI.

The Mets Magic Number to make the postseason is now four.


On deck:

Seth Lugo (4-2, 2.61 ERA) takes on Jose Urena (4-8, 5.95 ERA) for the rubber game tomorrow night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins, 7:10 PM Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:39:04 +0000 noah syndergaard

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 • 7:10 p.m.
Marlins Park • Miami, FL
RHP Noah Syndergaard (13-9, 2.63) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (9-12, 4.02)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

Last night was extremely emotional night for the Marlins as the Marlins were all introduced as #16 and both teams went out of the dugout for a moment of silence. The Marlins left a spot open for Fernandez and then signed the base of the mound. Then Dee Gordon took a pitch wearing Fernandez’s before going knocking a homer out of the park and breaking down rounding the bases. The Marlins ended the night back on the mound leaving their hats. The Cardinals lost as well and the Giants didn’t play so for the most part the Wild Card Race took a night off, as it should.

The Mets have won three of their last five games and are 14-8 in their last 22 contests. The Mets are 39-37 on the road this year and 10-5 in their last 15 road contests.

Noah Syndergaard enters tonight’s start with 210 strikeouts, the most by a Mets pitcher since R.A. Dickey struck out 230 batters in 2012. In two starts versus Miami this season, Syndergaard has struck out 21 batters in 14.0 innings of work.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Curtis Granderson – CF
  5. Jay Bruce – RF
  6. T.J. Rivera – 2B
  7. Lucas Duda – 1B
  8. Rene Rivera – C
  9. Noah Syndergaard – RHP

Marlins Lineup

  1. Dee Gordon – 2B
  2. Marcell Ozuna – LF
  3. Martin Prado – 3B
  4. Christian Yelich – CF
  5. Giancarlo Stanton – RF
  6. Justin Bour – 1B
  7. J.T. Realmuto – C
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria – SS
  9. Tom Koehler – RHP

Tonight Noah Syndergaard returns to the mound, missing a start due to strep throat over the weekend. On the season he is 13-9 over 30 games and 29 starts with 177.2 innings and 2.63 ERA. Syndergaard was on a great run of starts until his last start were he allowed 5 ER and 8 hits over 3.2 innings of work. He’s 1-0 over 2 starts against the Marlins this year allowing 3 ER over 14.0 innings. The Marlins have the following numbers against Thor:

  • Dietrich 3-7, 2B
  • Bour 2-6, 2B
  • Hechavarria 1-6
  • Ozuna 2-5, HR
  • Stanton 0-5
  • Yelich 2-6, 2B
  • Mathis 0-5

The Mets will face off with Tom Koehler tonight who is 9-12 over 31 starts and 170.0 innings with a 4.02 ERA. In his last three starts he’s 0-2over 14.0 innings allowing 10 runs, 9 earned. In his last start against the Mets he allowed 5 ER and 10 hits over 5.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Koehler:

  • Duda 3-27, 2 2B
  • Granderson 7-29, 2 HR
  • Lagares 6-23, 3B
  • d’Arnaud 7-17, 2 2B, HR
  • Flores 6-18, 3 2B
  • Cespedes 6-17, 3 2B, 3B
  • Loney 3-12, 2B
  • Cabrera 5-10, 2 HR

Let’s Go Mets!

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Report: Matz To Undergo Elbow Surgery To Remove Bone Spurs Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:16:38 +0000 matz-degrom

Sources tell ESPN’s Adam Rubin that Steven Matz will have surgery to remove the bone spur in his pitching elbow.

No shoulder surgery will be required, although the impingement remains an issue that will be closely monitored. The Mets have estimated a three-month recovery time for the elbow surgery.

Obviously, his season is over.

Original Report – 11:00 AM

Manager Terry Collins all but made it official on Monday, telling reporters that LHP Steven Matz is “unlikely to pitch again this season” after visiting with team doctors in Manhattan.

Collins backpedaled a day after inferring the Long Island southpaw could pitch out of the bullpen this week, now saying that even if Matz does feel healthy enough to throw off a mound, it is unlikely he would contribute out of the bullpen.  ”I don’t think it’s fair to him or us to do it,” Collins said,

Matz, who last pitched on August 14, was 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts this season.

In addition to the shoulder impingement that has essentially wiped out the rest of his season, Matz has also pitched with a bone spur in his pitching elbow which will need surgery this winter.

There is still an outside chance that Matz could impress in the instructional league, and return to the Mets as a relief pitcher later in the postseason.

“If he pitches in some games in St. Lucie and shows that he’s got the command of his stuff, and it’s legitimate, then you’ve got to think about it,” Collins said. “But, that’s down the road.”

It’s a bit shocking that four of our Fab Five have all gone down with varying degrees of arm or shoulder injuries after we had such high expectations back in April. Only Noah Syndergaard remains as the one healthy option heading into the final two series of the regular season and a potential post season. Pitchers Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom have each undergone season ending surgery.

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Nats All Star Catcher Wilson Ramos Out For Season With Torn ACL Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:05:52 +0000 wilson-ramos

Update: It’s a torn ACL for Wilson Ramos. He’s done for at least 6 months.

Over the past two weeks, the Washington Nationals have suffered a number of injuries to some of their core players, capped off by the potential loss of all-star catcher Wilson Ramos, who appeared to injure his right knee badly on Monday night.

The Nats await the results of an MRI but fear this could be a serious ACL or MCL injury that will likely wipe out the rest of this season and postseason.

Ramos, 29, who had to be helped off the field by trainers, is batting .307/.354/.497 with 22 homers and 80 RBI for the Nats this season. His loss would be devastating for the team.

”There’s always a level of concern when you lose a guy of that caliber,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. ”But that’s why we have the depth that we have. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. We’ve just got to next man up.”

The Nationals have already been without the services of second baseman Daniel Murphy for the last eight games, as he remains out with a strained glute muscle. And reigning MVP Bryce Harper injured his thumb on an awkward head-first slide on Sunday. The Nats held their collective breaths until they learned Harper’s thumb was not broken.

The Nationals are playing it safe with them but both are expected to rejoin the lineup as soon as tonight.

“Murphy and Harper look like they are going to be okay for the playoffs. But Willie is a tough man to replace,” said Jayson Werth on Monday. “I hate that expression ‘snake bit,’ but that’s how it feels.”

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Marlins Agree To Three-Year Deal With Martin Prado Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:17:40 +0000 martin-prado

Clark Spenser of the Miami Herald reports that the Miami Marlins and third baseman Martin Prado have reached agreement on a three-year contract extension, according to several of his sources. The deal will reportedly pay Prado $40 million through 2019.

Prado, 32, is hitting .305/.360/.415 this season with 37 doubles, seven homers, 73 RBI and 68 runs scored. He has a 3.6 WAR and 112 OPS+ and set to be a free agent this offseason.

The Marlins acquired Prado and pitcher David Phelps in a 2014 deal with the Yankees in which they gave up Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and Domingo German.

An already weak free agent class for position players gets a little bit weaker with Prado off the market.

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That Smile Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:25:29 +0000 jose-fernandez-3

I was sitting on a bus with 25 of my teammates. The young men who form the Ithaca College baseball team were on their way to Binghamton University to play our only scrimmage of the fall season. Joking around, talking about classes, playing music as usual… Until a voice cut through the exuberance like a hot knife through butter.

“Holy shit, Jose Fernandez died…”

I did not know which of my teammates uttered those words. I frantically opened Twitter on my phone, hoping it wouldn’t be true. A few taps later, my screen was filled with innumerable eulogies in 140 characters or less. That character limit was ironic, as they were used to describe someone whose unquantifiable character permeated Major League Baseball and its fans.

I am a 22 year-old pitcher. I love and respect the game of baseball and what it represents more than anything. At this moment, it has been just over two months since my second ACL reconstruction surgery in as many years. People ask me why I don’t just give up playing baseball altogether? If Jose Fernandez had known me, he would not have needed to ask me that question.

While I can’t throw 98 mph fastballs past major league hitters, there is one thing in particular that Mr. Fernandez and I share: An undeniable, unfaltering, wholehearted love for the game of baseball.

In an era of professional baseball so driven by money, Jose reminded us all that even at baseball’s very highest level of competition, it is still just baseball. A game that has stood the test of time, and is seen reflecting in the glossy eyes of aspiring players such as myself. A game played by tens of thousands of boys and girls of all ages across the world – A game.

As we sat on the bus traveling to play our game Sunday, we did our best to understand and soak in this terrible news. Our team is comprised of young Mets fans, Yankee fans, Red Sox fans, even some Orioles fans, all of whom loved Jose Fernandez, because he wasn’t just a Marlin. To me, a Mets fan, he wasn’t just the ace of a rival team. He was a man. He was his smile. He was his knee-buckling slider, his hugs in the dugout when he left a game. He transcended the definition of a pitcher, and he transcended the expectations of a baseball player.

This is just another reminder of how fragile life is. How one day I can be fooling a batter with a curveball, and the next day, well, who knows? When most people pass away, a message of “live life to the fullest” is spread. In this case, I want to heed that message, as well as take it a step further:

Enjoy baseball to the fullest, as Jose Fernandez did. It didn’t matter that he played for the Marlins, all that mattered to him was that he played. If you’re watching a game, remember that while you may be a Red Sox fan rooting against the Yankees or a Mets fan rooting against the Cardinals, you are watching baseball. Enjoy the game, no matter what the score is, or who is playing.

To love baseball is to love Jose Fernandez. The Marlins will retire #16, and rightfully so. He must be remembered by everyone. Not only for his outstanding statistics, but for who he was, and how he played baseball: The right way.

My thoughts are with the Fernandez family, his friends, his teammates, and everyone whose heart sank upon hearing the news of his untimely death. It will take a lot to mend this wound, but the 108 stitches on a baseball should be a good start.

Rest in peace, Jose. I will always look up to you as a pitcher, as a baseball player, and as a person.

Follow me on Twitter @LBarer32



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The Mets Get Syndergaard Back Tonight, But Then What? Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:00:38 +0000 noah syndergaard

As we enter the final five games of the New York Mets regular season, Noah Syndergaard will return Tuesday to get the team back on track in the Wild Card race.

Syndergaard missed his previous start due to a battle with strep throat this past weekend. He has also been said to be dealing with a bone spur throughout the season.

Overall on the season, Thor has been great, pitching to a 13-9 record with an ERA of 2.63 ERA and a WHIP of 1.16. He has accumulated 210 strikeouts in 177.2 innings pitched, dominating opposing batters.

He will currently be lined up to pitch in the final game of the season in Philadelphia on Sunday. However, in the event the Mets clinch a playoff spot before that, Terry Collins said Monday that Syndergaard will be skipped this weekend so he can start the Wild Card game on Oct. 5.

In other words, the only way Syndergaard starts Sunday is if the Mets season is still on the line or if home field advantage was still at stake, though nothing is etched in stone.

“I don’t know,” Terry Collins said. “That’s legitimately a real good question. As I said, you’ve got to get in first, and right now if we get in, we’ll figure out something else.”

It all starts with Tuesday, an important game for a team who cannot afford to lost consecutive games. They luckily got help from Cincinnati Monday night, as they obliterated the Cardinals by a score of 15-2.

Syndergaard must put forth a quality start as Bartolo Colon had a rough night on the mound Monday, pitching just 2.1 innings. All eyes will be on Noah tonight as the Mets control their own destiny with just five games to play.

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Monday Night, Everyone Was A Marlins Fan Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:30:34 +0000 marlins-caps-mound

“There’s no crying in baseball.” Is a motto that was tossed out the window Monday night in Miami.

When Jose Fernandez died in a horrific boat accident during the early hours of Sunday, the news rocked the baseball world.

How could someone with that much lust for the game of baseball – and life in general – be gone in such a tragedy?

Fernandez was larger than life, and when I received the notification from Twitter Sunday morning reporting what happened, my stomach was in knots and has been since.

The Mets had the undesirable task of having to open up a series in Miami Monday, in what would be the first game in a post Jose Fernandez era of Marlins baseball.

The Marlins paid homage to Fernandez with a pregame ceremony, followed by the two teams embracing each other on the field.

The Marlins all wore Fernandez’s jersey throughout the game with the number 16, a number that will be retired in honor of Miami’s young star.


Dee Gordon stepped into the dish batting right-handed to lead off the game and replicated Fernandez’s batting stance.

Gordon took a ball, switched to batting left-handed, and clubbed a home run over the right field fence.

Gordon jogged around the bases with a face full of tears, then embraced his teammates in the dugout in what was truly a heart wrenching experience.

“I was crying too. I had my head down, and when he was coming to home plate, tears were coming down his face and they were coming down mine too.” Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “I’m pretty sure the whole world felt that emotion.”

It doesn’t matter what team you root for on a daily basis. Monday night, everyone was a Miami Marlins fan.

That includes Mets fans who saw their team drop the first game of a three-game series to the Fish 7-3 during a tight wild card race.

It didn’t matter. Monday night, all eyes were on the field, not the scorecard.

The Marlins sealed the win, and just like they had done pregame, the team circled the mound where their all-star pitcher had tossed countless innings and wrapped their arms around each other.

Gone too soon, but never forgotten. You will be sorely missed, Jose Fernandez.


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Mets Magic Number Falls to 5 with Cardinals Loss Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:00:44 +0000 bartolo-colon-3

The New York Mets fell to the Miami Marlins on Monday night by a score of 7-3 in one of the most emotional games you may have witnessed. Following the passing of star pitcher, Jose Fernandez, Miami began their healing process with last night’s game.

A night that included beautiful tributes to their ace, including an unbelievable lead-off home run from Dee Gordon. Players embraced prior to the game, with many struggling to play through the pain they felt inside. Manager, Terry Collins talked about the atmosphere of the game.

“It was a tough game to play,” Collins said. “The whole atmosphere was not baseball that we’re used to playing, especially here. I’m glad it’s over.” (NY Post)

With the Mets falling to the Marlins, the Giants now trail New York by a half game in the Wild Card race. San Francisco had their final day off of the season on Monday night. The Giants open up a series tonight at home against Colorado.

The St. Louis Cardinals though did have a game last night and were trounced by the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds defeated the Cards handily by a score of 15-2. With that loss, the Mets stay a game and a half ahead of St. Louis.

The Mets will look to get back on track tonight with RHP Noah Syndergaard (13-9, 2.63 ERA) making his return to the rotation. Thor will be opposed by Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (9-12, 4.02 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

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Mets Fall 7-3 To Marlins In Emotional Contest Tue, 27 Sep 2016 03:12:06 +0000 dee-gordon-travis-darnaud

With all eyes on the game and few eyes on the score, the New York Mets (83-74) fell 7-3 to the Miami Marlins (78-78) on Monday night in South Beach. With the Giants off and the Cardinals losing to Cincinnati, the Mets lead San Francisco by half a game and St Louis by one game in the NL Wild Card race.

The night began with a pregame ceremony to honor late Marlins superstar José Fernandez, after which the two teams spontaneously embraced each other in the infield. Every Marlins player wore Fernandez’s jersey throughout the game.

Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first for Miami, wearing Fernandez’s helmet and initially batting from the right side to honor his fallen best friend. After switching to his natural left side of the plate, Gordon drove a 2-0 pitch from Bartolo Colon over the wall for his first home run of the season, breaking down as he rounded the bases and embracing his teammates and coaches upon reaching the dugout.

The Marlins controlled the game from there, scoring four more runs in the 2nd inning and two in the 3rd to chase Bartolo early.


The Mets bullpen provided 5.2 scoreless innings in relief of Colon, with Gabriel Ynoa (1.2 innings), Rafael Montero (1), Erik Goeddel (1.2), Josh Edgin (0.1) and Jim Henderson (1) keeping the game within reason. New York scored two in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera double that made it 7-2, but left the bases loaded in the sixth and managed only an RBI single from Lucas Duda the rest of the way, as Adam Conley (who pitched just three innings) and the Marlins bullpen held strong to finish off the 7-3 win.

The Mets need wins down the stretch, but it was hard to watch this game with that in mind.

Up Next: Noah Syndergaard will face Tom Koehler when the Mets face Miami on Tuesday at 7:10 in Miami.


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Monday, September 26, 2016 • 7:10 p.m.
Marlins Park • Miami, FL
RHP Bartolo Colon (14-7, 3.12) vs. LHP Adam Conley (8-6, 3.94)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets beat the Phillies by an almost incomprehensible 17-0 as the Giants and Cardinals both lost. The Mets look to close in on the Wild Card as they start their last 6 games of the season.

Tonight will be an incredibly tough game in Miami. As you have undoubtedly heard by now, early Sunday morning, phenom pitcher Jose Fernandez passed away in a tragic boating accident. Jose Fernandez transcended pitching and baseball as an ambassador for the sport and demonstrating that baseball is supposed to be fun. His untimely passing has hit the baseball world hard.


The Miami Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys during tonight’s game in honor of pitcher Jose Fernandez.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Curtis Granderson – CF
  5. T.J. Rivera – 2B
  6. Jay Bruce – RF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Eric Campbell – 1B
  9. Bartolo Colon – RHP

Marlins Lineup

  1. Dee Gordon – 2B
  2. Marcell Ozuna – LF
  3. Martin Prado – 3B
  4. Christian Yelich – CF
  5. Giancarlo Stanton – RF
  6. Justin Bour – 1B
  7. J.T. Realmuto – C
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria – SS
  9. Adam Conley – LHP

Bartolo Colon will be on the mound for the Mets. He is 14-7 over 32 games and 31 starts with 184.1 innings of work and a 3.12 ERA. In the month of September he has made 4 starts and is 2-0 pitching 25.2 innings with a 1.75 ERA. In his last start against the Marlins, he held them to 2 runs, 1 earned, over 7.0 innings of work. The Marlins have the following numbers against Colon:

  • Cabrera 1-17, 2B
  • Granderson 4-13, 2 HR
  • De Aza 2-11, 2B
  • K Johnson 2-13, 3B
  • Reyes 5-12
  • Rivera 2-5, 2B, HR
  • Bruce 1-5, HR
  • Cespedes 2-3, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!


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Decisions, Decisions: Home Field and the Manic Magic Number Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:49:03 +0000 magicnumber

Terry Collins and his staff may have some interesting decisions to make this weekend regarding his pitching staff and how it sets up for a potential Wild Card Game next Wednesday night.   A lot has to do with the two team wildcard format, tie breaking procedures and how a magic number is calculated.

An important facet in this situation to understand is that a magic number, by definition, pertains to only two teams.  Therefore, the Mets have one magic number against the Giants (currently 5), and a completely separate one against the St. Louis Cardinals (currently 6).  After all, it is in essence, the combination of wins by the leading team and losses by the trailing team that make catching the leader mathematically impossible.  Many fans, tweeters, and intelligent folks are having issues understanding how any of this works in a three team field for two spots.  You are not alone, as the format can get a bit confusing.

How Come the Mets are Further Ahead of the Giants than the Cardinals?

Let’s look at the standings as they currently exist.  The Mets are one full game ahead of the Giants with both teams having six remaining games.  If the Mets go 3-3 on their final road trip, it would make sense to expect the Giants to tie the Mets with a 4-2 record, making up the necessary game and forcing some type of home field playoff.  Well, this is not the case with the two wildcard team format.  Teams that finish with the same record for the top spot (not the final spot, which will be addressed later) will default to head to head season series, which the Mets hold a 4-3 edge on.  In other words, that is tantamount to the Mets having a current two game advantage on the Giants.  The Giants would have to OVERTAKE the Mets in the standings, not just tie them.  So, in the above example, the Mets 3-3 record would task the Giants to have to go 5-1 to overtake the Mets in the Wildcard standings. Any combination of five Mets wins and Giants losses would secure home field for the Mets a Wild Card match-up against the Giants.

The above scenario is solely for the Mets Giants race for the top Wild Card spot.  The St. Louis Cardinals won the season series against the Mets.  As a result, they only have to draw even with the Mets in order to overtake them in the standings, again defaulting to the in season record between the two clubs.  As it currently stands, the Red Birds are 1.5 games back of the Mets for the Wildcard lead with seven games left to play.  The ‘extra game’ will be played Thursday, while the Mets are off.  As a result of the extra game to be played and the Cardinals holding the edge in the season series, the Mets magic number against this club is 6, or higher than the team that is ahead of them (The Giants) in the standings.  If the Cardinals go 3-4 in their final week, the Mets would need to go 3-3 to maintain their lead against them.  Anything less would give the Cardinals home field in any head to head match-up between the clubs if they are the two to qualify and the Giants go home.


How Could This Impact the Mets Rotation in Their Final Turn?

If you told me in April I would be writing about Noah Syndergaard‘s strep throat and how it will impact home-field advantage in a Wild Card game, I would have laughed.  But after this season, it is impossible to take anything off the table with this team.

Noah was bumped from his start this past weekend due to his illness.  As a result, he is no longer lined up to pitch on Wednesday October 5th, the NL Wild Card Game.  In fact, being scheduled to pitch tomorrow, he is actually lined up to pitch on regular rest in the final game of the season in Philadelphia Sunday.  It would behoove the Mets to wrap up home-field by Saturday the latest, or they could be put in a precarious position before game 162.

If the Mets have clinched a wildcard berth by Sunday morning but have yet to secure home field, they will have to decide on whether or not to send Noah out on regular rest in order to get a home Wild Card ‘play-in’ game, or save him for a guaranteed post season start that may come on the road with their stud on extra rest.  Fans would rather see the game played in Flushing, but they would likely rather see Thor on the bump, regardless of where the game is.  Whats more? Colon is scheduled to pitch Saturday night in Philly, which would leave him on short rest the following Wednesday.

If the Mets postseason hopes come down to their final game, they would find themselves with neither Colon or Syndergaard on regular rest to pitch that play-in game.  The result? Allow Colon to pitch on three days rest, or, everyone’s consensus choice to pitch such a game in spring training, Robert Gsellman is your Wild Card game starter for the Mets.

The scenarios get much more murky if all three teams finish with the same record or a tie breaker game is necessary if two teams tie for the second Wild Card spot, which would lead to a Game 163, as non-competitive tie breaking procedures can not be utilized for a final playoff spot, but a head to head game.

How can this be avoided? Simple! The Mets Win the next six and make it all moot! Easy enough…

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A Tough Night Ahead As Mets and Marlins Mourn Jose Fernandez Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:15:49 +0000 fernandez-jersey

Sitting in Section 135, you get the opportunity to look into the Mets dugout.  While watching the game, I could only make out that the Mets had hung something up on the dugout wall.  As I would discover after the game, Yoenis Cespedes hung a Jose Fernandez Mets #16 jersey to honor his fellow countryman, defector, and baseball player:

His manager, Terry Collins was right there talking to his star while he hung something to honor a player who would die tragically at the age of 24.  It was just one of many Mets players who took time to express their grief over the loss on Twitter.

All over baseball, people mourned the loss of a unique talent and incredible young man that was gone too soon.  However, it was not just his talent that makes the loss that great.  After his death, you heard stories about how active he was in the community.  You saw how beloved he was by his teammates, competitors, and people who covered the game.  It was a rare sight to see Keith Hernandez break down as he did when he and Gary Cohen announced the news before the game.


Personally, I was left at a loss for words having heard all the stories of how he defected after multiple failed attempts and was thrown in a Cuban prison for a year at age 14. A year late, Fernandez jumped into those rough waters, and he used that strong right arm to save his mother’s life when she fell overboard. Upon hearing the news, many were left wondering where Fernandez’s savior was when that boat crashed.

As if this wasn’t tragic enough, there was learning the news that Fernandez was set to become a father.  Somewhere in Florida a child is going to be born that is never going to get to know their father.

With the shock and sudden loss, the Marlins cancelled yesterday’s game.  However, they will play tonight against the Mets.  They will play on a night that Fernandez was supposed to be taking the rubber against the veteran Bartolo Colon.

That’s the backdrop to tonight’s meeting between the Mets and the Marlins.  A once meaningful September game now seems devoid of its meaning without Fernandez.  On a night that he was supposed to don his number 16 jersey and take the mound, the Mets and Marlins are left hanging up his jersey in honor and remembrance of him.

“I know they’ll be very, very respectful,” Terry Collins explained. “This is one that hits you in the stomach. This kid’s 24 years old. He’s got a huge future ahead of him. His past is a story itself — how he got here, how he became successful, his love for the game, his love for Miami and the community, what he did down there for kids.”

“You can’t ever watch a Marlins game where you’re not looking over on the bench watching this guy have fun, even though he’s not playing that night. He stays on the bench. He’s cheering. He’s on the top step. His love for the game and what he meant to Miami, it’s got to be a hard day for them.”

“Our hearts and thoughts are with Jose’s family, teammates, his fans and everyone at the Marlins.”


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Robert Gsellman Shines in Best Outing Yet Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:30:29 +0000 robert-gsellman

After a couple of rough performances by the starting rotation, Robert Gsellman stepped up and put on a great performance against the Philadelphia Phillies, helping his team to a 17-0 victory.

In the longest start of his short career, Gsellman pitched to seven shutout innings while allowing just three hits. He walked two batters on the day while striking out a career-high eight.

“It felt great to finally get past the sixth inning and go seven,” Gsellman said. “The bullpen has been pitching a lot so try to help them out today.” (NY Post)

Manager, Terry Collins wanted to push Gsellman and stretch him out a bit more as the Mets enter into what now is a six game season as they try to punch their ticket into the postseason.

“I thought it was really, really important to build him up to 100 pitches so whether he [throws] 70 or 75 pitches in a playoff game, it’s easier for him. I thought I’d get him a little deeper in the game as far as pitch count goes,” Collins said.

Gsellman has solidified himself as a steady option for the Mets in the rotation. Gsellman improved his record to 3-2 on the season with an ERA of 2.56 and a WHIP of 1.27.

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3 Up 3 Down: Mets Take Three of Four In Final Home Series Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:21:39 +0000 asdrubal-cabrera

3 Up

 1.  Cabby Comes Through

 It looked as though the Mets were going to get off on the wrong foot in the start of the series on Thursday night. After Jose Reyes tied it at six with his two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th, the Mets again trailed 8-6 heading into the bottom of the 11th. Cabrera changed that with his game winning three-run home run to right center. He finished with six hits and seven RBI in the series, including that three-run home run and a grand slam on Sunday afternoon.

2.  Gsellman Deals

 After a comeback fell short for the Mets on Saturday night, the last thing the Mets wanted to do was split the series with a loss on Sunday. Robert Gsellman took the mound and pitched a career high seven innings and allowed just three hits while striking out eight batters. He also recorded his first Major League hit with his bunt single in the second innings. In his last three starts he’s given up a total of two runs.  He continues to impress, and should the Mets make it into the playoffs, he may be one of the starters.

3.  Offense Explodes

 After scoring just 10 total runs against the Braves at home last week, the Mets offense combined for a total of 44 runs on 46 hits, 17 of those runs coming in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. The Mets tied a club record by scoring at least eight runs in four straight home games. Their 17-0 score on Sunday was the largest shutout win in team history. Both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson reached the 30 home run club this weekend.

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3 Down

 1.  Reed Stumbles

 After he allowed a crucial run last Wednesday night against the Braves, Reed was hit with a blown save on Thursday night when he allowed three runs on three hits. Reed, for the most part, has been solid for the Mets this year, but he suffered his fourth blown save of the season in the series opener.

2.  Syndergaard Scratched, Gilmartin Struggles

 After Syndergaard was scratched from his start on Saturday night due to strep throat, Sean Gilmartin was plugged in to make the spot start. Well, Gilmartin didn’t make it out of the first inning, lasting just 2/3 of an inning while giving up four hits, three walks, and five earned runs. The Mets made a valiant effort to come back after the lead ballooned to 10-0, but the deficit proved too much to overcome.

3.  Matz Skipped Again, Could Be Done For Season

 Steven Matz was scratched yet again from his Friday night start due to the impingement in his shoulder. Even though he looked good in his bullpen sessions last week, the Mets decided to keep him from making his start on Friday. While he may not make another start this season, he may make an appearance out of the pen.

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Bartolo Colon: 2016 N.L. Gold Glove Winner? Mon, 26 Sep 2016 15:30:57 +0000 bartolo-colon

Bartolo Colon has given New York Mets fans plenty to cheer about during his three-year tenure in Queens. He’s started at least 31 games each season, has double-digit victories in each year, and has provided the Mets a durable, rubber-arm every fifth day on the mound.

We even got to witness Colon’s first major league home run this season, a shot to left off RHP James Shields when the Mets were visiting the San Diego Padres in early May. Colon became the oldest player in baseball history to hit his first career home run that afternoon, and etched his name into Mets’ lore forever with that blast.

The home run became such a fan favorite that Topps produced a Topps Now card in honor of the feat, which sold 8,826 cards in a 24-hour period, which shattered Topps’ previous record of 1,808 cards sold from Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter.

Colon has been the calm and steady influence the Mets’ rotation needed this season, where fans had such high hopes and envisioned a rotation featuring Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler, with Colon eventually heading to the bullpen for the stretch run of the season. With the injury bug plaguing the Mets’ rotation at an unprecedented level this year, Colon and Syndergaard have been the two mainstays in the rotation, and have shouldered the load for the Mets to be in the wild card hunt at the end of September.

As Colon moves up the leader boards in strikeouts, wins, and innings pitched per start, he’s in contention to add another special accolade to his impressive resume which includes a Cy Young Award in 2005 and four All-Star appearances — a Gold Glove Award.


While those who don’t regularly watch Colon’s starts might scoff at the idea of the forty-three-year-old, rotund right-hander winning a Gold Glove Award, those of us that have had the sincere pleasure of watching “Big Sexy” toe the rubber and turn in quality start after quality start know better. We’ve witnessed the quick reflexes he flashes when there’s a comebacker up the middle. The soft hands he has when fielding a slow roller up the first/third base lines. The terrific fielding position he gets into after delivering his pitch, and the awareness he has on the mound are all attributes he puts on display for every start he makes.

Winning the Gold Glove for Colon would also put him in another “oldest” category, just like his home run in Petco Park on May 7, as Colon would become the oldest player at any position to win his first Gold Glove Award, surpassing Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, who won his first at the age of 39 in 1978 with the Atlanta Braves. Niekro went on to win the next three Gold Glove Awards from 1978-80, and then two more in 1982 and 1984.

The numbers back up Colon’s strong case for the award this year. As of Sunday, Colon was tied with Chicago Cubs’ ace Jake Arrieta for 40 total assists, which is six better than Colon’s previous high back in 1998 with 34 with the Cleveland Indians. Colon is also tied for second in baseball with five total double plays, only one behind Arrieta for the lead. Colon also ranks fourth in baseball in range factor, a number derived by dividing putouts and assists by the number of innings or games played at the position, to arrive at total number of outs that the pitcher participates in. Colon’s currently fourth at 1.63, trailing only Arrieta (1.67), Zack Greinke (1.85), and Mike Leake (2.07), according to

Taking a look at FanGraphs, Colon ranks first among qualifying pitchers in defensive runs saved (DRS), at 9 runs. That’s two runs better than the three pitchers tied for second place (Greinke, Keuchel, and Tanaka). That’s also six runs better than his previous high from last year, when he had three DRS in 194.2 innings pitched. His nine DRS this season was achieved in only 184.1 innings pitched.

The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) has their own defensive rankings, known as SDI (Sabermetrics Defensive Index). Through August 7, their most recent update on their website without a subscription, Colon ranks first in the National League among pitchers with a SDI of 2.8, which is 0.3 better than the second place pitcher in Zack Greinke (2.5). SABR accounts for 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award voting process, along with the managers and coaches across baseball. Managers and coaches cannot vote for their own players, and have to vote for players in their league. If you want to learn more about how SABR develops their SDI numbers, click here.

bartolo colon

When looking at more traditional stats, such as errors, Colon has only had three errors this season. And while that’s not a career low for him (he had zero errors in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels), Colon’s had the most total chances of his career with 55 (total chances is assists plus putouts plus errors), eclipsing his previous high of 54 in 1999 as a member of the Indians. Of the three errors Colon has committed this season, two have been of the throwing variety, leaving just the one fielding error on the year.

Colon pitches to contact, as evidenced by his low K/9 numbers of 5.96, and being 4th in the National League with the number of air outs he’s induced (212) and 13th in ground outs in the N.L. with 201. So of course, Colon is going to get more opportunities with fielding his position and showcasing what he can do once his pitch is released. Because he squares up to the plate once he finishes his delivery, he gives himself the best opportunity to get to batted balls quickly off the mound, something he does with near regularity for every start he makes.

Colon definitely is in the running for the award this year, and also has an incentive if he were to win. Before he re-signed with the Mets in December of last year, the Mets wrote in $50K bonuses if he earned an All-Star nod, won the Cy Young, Silver Slugger, or Gold Glove Award. Colon has already earned $50k for his All-Star selection this year, and looks to cash in with another incentive with the Gold Glove.

Colon has been one of the best Sandy Alderson signings in his tenure, and for that matter, one of the best New York Mets signings in franchise history. At $7.25 million, Colon has been a relative bargain this season, and has earned every penny of that contract with his excellent play on the field, prompting most fan to hope for his return in 2017.

It just goes to show that not every player has to be of herculean proportions to be considered for an athlete, and to never judge a book by its cover. Colon has proved that with his cat-like reflexes off the mound and smart baseball intellect.  Not bad for a soft-tossing 285-pound man.

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Mets Set Franchise Record With 17 Run Shutout In Regular Season Finale At Citi Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:00:54 +0000 robert-gsellman

As Major League Baseball mourned the tragic loss of Marlin’s ace pitcher Jose Fernandez, the #16 jersey bearing his name hung on the back wall of every doleful dugout.

And on this somber Sunday at Citi Field, the Mets muscled their way through their emotions in their final regular season home game with a payback 17-0 pummeling of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rookie Robert Gsellman got the 6th inning goat off his back by tossing seven strong shutout innings of three-hit ball, striking out a career high eight batters for his third win of the season.

Gsellman had no trouble with his curve and some good fortune with his bat beating out a bunt single for his first big league hit.

For the Mets it was literally a walk in the park as the Phillies’ failure to find the plate resulted in nine walks, four hit batters, and three wild pitches, loading the bases five times, gifting New York with an embarrassment of riches of runs.

The beleaguered Jay Bruce, coming off the high of his Saturday night home run, doubled twice, hopefully a sign that he’s peaking, albeit way past his due date, to help his team pull off a second consecutive playoff spot.

Curtis Granderson belted another jack joining Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes in the 30 HR club, and like the Cincinnati transplant that’s finally producing, Granderson’s bat will be major factor as the Wild Card race nears the finish line.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin gave starter Jake Thompson the hook in the 4th after the rookie allowed 4 of 5 Mets batters to reach base, but their battered bullpen, not faring much better, allowed 14 runs in the next four innings.

With the Mets cruising 7-0, Asdrubal Cabrera, along with his compromised knees, crushed a grand slam, and the hits and runs kept coming when Terry Collins brought Michael Conforto and Eric Campbell in off the bench.

The usual relief options got some rest. Fernando Salas struck out the side in the 8th, Jerry Blevins had an easy 1,2,3 ninth and the Mets took 3 of 4 from their downtrodden rivals.

On Monday, the Mets travel to Miami to face a shaken Marlins team that surely wants to honor the loss of the beloved and cherished, Jose Fernandez. And as the show must go on, Bartolo Colon will have the unfortunate task of trying to prevent that from happening.

Here are some interesting takeaways from Sunday’s win:

The 17 runs by the Mets are the most in a home game in Citi Field history, passing the 15 runs the Mets scored in a 15-2 victory over the Dodgers on July 25, 2015. The 17 runs are also tied for the most in any home game in Mets history, matching the 17 runs the Mets scored in a 17-3 win over the Florida Marlins in the second game of a doubleheader on July 8, 2006.

The 17 runs are tied for the eighth-most runs scored in a Mets game in team history. It’s the fifth time that the Mets have scored 17 runs in a game (last – June 27, 2012 at Chicago-NL in a 17-1 win).

The 17-0 shutout win is the largest margin of victory in a Mets shutout in team history, passing a pair of 14-0 shutout wins (July 29, 1965 at Chicago-NL and April 19, 1998 at Cincinnati). The shutout is the 13th by Mets pitching this season. The last 17-0 shutout win in the major leagues occurred June 17, 2015 by the Chicago Cubs at Cleveland.

New York’s 17-run margin of victory is the second-largest margin of victory in Mets history. The biggest margin of victory was 18 runs in a 19-1 win at Wrigley Field on May 26, 1964 vs. the Cubs.

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Cabrera and Granderson Continue to Launch Homers with Ease Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:11:16 +0000 curtis-granderson

Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson helped the Mets offense explode for a record setting 17-0 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon.

The 17 runs were the most scored by the Mets in Citi Field history and was tied for the most in any home game they ever played.

Cabrera launched a grand slam in the seventh inning for his 23rd home run of the season. It was the third grand slam of his career and first since September 30, 2012 while playing for Cleveland vs. Kansas City.

The 23 home runs are the second-most he’s hit in a single season in his career, with the most being 25. Over his last 35 games, Cabrera is batting .360 with 21 extra-base hits, 26 RBI and 22 runs scored. He has truly helped to carry this offense, bad knee and all.

Granderson hit his 30th home run of the season with a solo shot in the fourth inning .It was  Granderson’s fourth season with 30 or more homers.Over his last 23 games, Granderson has 10 home runs, 21 RBI and 22 runs scored.

It has been a heck of a resurgence for the once struggling outfielder. The Grandy-man has gotten hot at just the right time for this team, looking more like the player from 2015 than the one we saw the first few months of 2016.

Having these two players continue their hot streaks into this final six games could be the difference in making the postseason for the second consecutive season.

Both the Cardinals and Giants lost their respective games Sunday, giving the Mets sole possession of the top Wild Card spot. The Giants trail the Mets by one game, while the Cardinals trail by a game and a half.

The Mets head to Miami today to kick off a three-game series with the Miami Marlins in what is sure to be an emotional setting with the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez. Manager, Terry Collins knows it will be a somber environment but one where all must still compete.

“Tomorrow is going to be a rough one for everybody,” Collins said. “I’m sure they’re going to be all fired up to not only beat us, but in honor of Jose.” (ESPN)

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I kick off tonight’s show looking at the week ahead and comparing the schedules of the Mets, Cards and Giants. I also talk about how this team needs to approach a ballgame differently without their strong starting pitching.

The tragic death of Jose Fernandez puts a monkey wrench into the series in Miami. The Marlins could certainly use their grief as a means to play some of their best baseball of the year. The Phillies aren’t going to just sit back and let the Mets celebrate on their field. Bad Philly bullpen or not, that series isn’t going to be easy. It’s possible the Mets are going to need to win out, especially with teams like the Rockies, Pirates and Cardinals standing in the way of their competition.

This Mets team needs to play more like the 2006 group. They no longer can rely on 7 strong innings from the rotation. Rather, they need to get 5-6 good innings and then mix and match to the Reed/Familia end-game. This type of scenario requires strong bullpen management and a feel for the game, two attributes that are not strengths of Terry Collins. Would you be surprised if we are sitting here next week lamenting another week of bad Collins in-game management? I won’t be.

Joe Trezza of joins me to round out the show. Joe talks about how September baseball is exciting and he doesn’t agree with those who feel the 3+ hour games and expanded rosters are ruining baseball. We discuss AJ Cassavell’s Sports on Earth article suggesting 22-man active rosters in September and how the league can improve, not eliminate September baseball next year.

Joe also tells me what he’s heard from scouts regarding the struggles of Travis d’Arnaud, why Rene Rivera is a better option at catcher, and his prediction of whether there will be October baseball in Flushing.




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Gsellman Sizzles As Cabrera and Mets Slam Phillies 17-0 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 20:58:55 +0000 fernandez-jersey

The New York Mets (83-73) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (70-86) by a score of 17-0 at Citi Field Sunday afternoon.  The Mets temporarily hold a half a game advantage over the San Francisco Giants for the first wild card spot.


Following the tragic news of the passing of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez this morning that rocked the baseball world, the Mets still had a game to play today.  Robert Gsellman was on the mound for the Mets and he was incredible pitching seven scoreless innings while allowing just three hits, walking two and striking out eight.


Fernando Salas came in for the Mets in the top of the 8th inning and he made quick work of the Phillies, striking out the side.

Jerry Blevins came in for the Mets in the top of the ninth and shut the door, completing the shutout.



In the bottom of the second inning, Jay Bruce lead off the inning with a double.  T.J. Rivera followed with a single putting runners on the corners with nobody out. James Loney then grounded into a double play but Bruce would come home and the Mets would take the early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Curtis Granderson hit his 30th home run of the season over the right field wall to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.  Following the home run, the Mets would load the bases and Jose Reyes would walk in another giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson started the inning off with walks to put two runners on.  Jay Bruce followed with a single to load the bases with nobody out.  T.J. Rivera cashed in with a single to bring in a run, making the score 4-0.  With the bases still loaded, Rene Rivera was hit by a pitch making the score 5-0.  Colton Murray then came in to replace Phil Klein but he threw a wild pitch to bring home Jay Bruce giving the Mets a 6-0 lead.


In the bottom of the seventh inning, The Mets would have the bases loaded for Jose Reyes and he would walk in a run yet again giving the Mets a 7-0 lead.  Asdrubal Cabrera would then put the game out of reach by cracking a grand slam, his 23rd home run of the season over the right field wall making the score 11-0.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Mets would have the bases loaded for Jose Reyes again.  This time, he would smack a single to left field making the score 13-0.  Eric Campbell then brought in two more by lining a single to right field making the score 15-0.  Following a Ty Kelly walk that would put two runners on, Michael Conforto hit his 21st double of the year to bring in two more making the score 17-0.


The 17-0 shutout is the most lopsided shutout in Mets history.

Robert Gsellman’s ERA now stands at a sparkling 2.56

Terry Collins told reporters yesterday that Wilmer Flores could miss the remainder of the season.


JZ Player of the game: Robert Gsellman.  This was easily Gsellman’s best start of his career and he left the mound to well-earned standing ovation.  Gsellman just keeps getting better and better.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their first game of a three-game set with the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park tomorrow evening. The game has a start time of 7:10 PM.  This will be the first game played by the Marlins following the tragic death of Jose Fernandez.  Bartolo Colon (14-7, 3.12 ERA), will look to keep the Mets rolling against Adam Conley (8-6, 3.94 ERA).

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Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez Is Dead Following A Boating Accident Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:21:08 +0000 jose-fernandez-3

I am at a loss of words for having to report this tragic news this morning:

Multiple reporters have confirmed this morning that Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has been killed in a tragic boating accident. There are no other details that has been released at this time. Please check back here for updates as more details become available.

The 24-year-old Fernandez was one of at least three people killed in the early morning collision. He announced on Instagram recently that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child, Local 10 reported.

“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” a team statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Sunday’s game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves in Miami was cancelled.

The Mets are scheduled to start a three-game series with the Marlins tomorrow in Miami.


“All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life.”

Jared Diamond of the WSJ shared an excerpt from a story detailing how Fernandez had once saved his mother who was swept overboard by a wave. Fernandez had tried to defect from Cuba three times. On the fourth try, his mother was swept overboard and he jumped in and saved her.

Quick Facts:

- Former 1st round pick in 2011 by the Miami Marlins
- Won Rookie-of-The-Year award in 2013
- 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA in 76 career games

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Jose Fernandez and the Marlins organization.

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