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.
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.