You could feel the weight of the sadness in Miami on Monday night. The Mets and Marlins came together in an embrace on the field before opening their three game series, a game that Jose Fernandez should have been there to pitch. Every player on the Marlins donned their black jerseys with Fernandez’s name and number on the back in tribute to the late pitcher.
Dee Gordon was the lead-off batter, and decided to bat right handed for one pitch in tribute to Jose. He crushed the third pitch for a home run. Tears streaming down his face as he crossed home plate, pounding his chest and pointing up at the sky, as if to let Fernandez know that it was for him.
He cried as he re-entered the dugout his teammates gathered around him with their support. It was one of the most sad and beautiful things I had ever seen.
The Mets would go on to lose last night 7-3. It only felt right. It was a game the Marlins were supposed to win. Baseball is wonderful in that way.
The Mets maintained their wild card spot but only a half a game above the Giants now. They need to push forward from here if they want to see October, but for one night, it was okay for everyone in baseball to be a Marlins fan.