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.