He Said, She Said – Recaps for 9/26/16

It’s your friendly neighborhood Prof here. I’m manning (womaning?) the fort for the next two days because Scout will be out of action. As a result, there won’t be the game links and some of the recaps might be a little spotty. Also, no game videos unless I can find them on Twitter. However, because Scout’s not here, I’m going to post a bunch of U2 songs. Other than The Who, U2 is my favorite band, and I am in need of comfort.


Mets 3, Marlins 7 – I’m sure I’m not the only one who watched this game last night. I wasn’t going to miss it for the world. It was a surreal experience. Felt more like a memorial service that happened to take place during a baseball game, which I guess it was. As Gator recounted in an earlier post yesterday, Miami wore black jerseys with Jose Fernandez’ name and number on the back. On their hats, each player penned their own tribute. Some had messages on their shoes and eye blacks; Dee Gordon had 16 shaved into his hair.

The game began with a haunting rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as the entire ballpark reflected upon Jose’s life. It’s amazingly rough to see grown men, men that you think are tough, larger than life men openly weeping. To see them break and crumble before your eyes. That is what we saw with the Miami Marlins, to a man. It was hard, yet beautiful, to see men like Martin Prado and Giancarlo Stanton reduced to tears. For them to stand there? I can’t imagine what it felt like. I’m sure that being there, at that park, knowing that Jose was supposed to have pitched that game and he’s gone… I honestly can’t imagine it.

The Mets were incredible, as well. After the short memorial, they crossed the diamond to hug and offer support to the Marlins players. I’ve only seen this once before, the Mets/Braves game after 9/11. But this had an even stranger feeling to it. I can’t describe it. I’m sure if you saw it, you know what I mean.

The game was an experience. A unique one. As it began, you could see Stanton in the outfield, wiping tears away while trying to do his job. But the level of brotherhood was palpable. You could feel it through the television – I can only assume it was stronger and more lush in person.

There were so many touching, amazing, raw things that happened but the first Marlins’ at-bat set the tone for the night and might possibly be one of the greatest individual plays I have ever seen in my 30-odd years of watching baseball. I am not engaging in hyperbole, only truth here. And it’s all because of Dee Gordon, who was the most openly mourning of the players.

Gordon came up to bat from the right side of the box, and for the first pitch tried his best to approximate Jose’s batting stance. Ball one. He switched to his regular batting helmet and went to the left side of the box, and immediately crushed the next pitch for a second deck home run, the first one of the season for him. When Gordon touched home, he fell apart, crying in such a broken way that I wanted to leap into the tv and hug him. Shoutout to Bartolo Colon, who in a very classy way allowed Gordon and the Marlins to have their cathartic cry after this improbable but perfect at-bat.

As strange as this game was, ultimately I think it might possibly be one of the greatest baseball experiences I have ever had. A fitting tribute to a young man with such life, so much potential, and the lives he left behind.


Cubs 12, Pirates 2 – Javier Baez hits a grand slam, and drives in six total RBI. Kris Bryant went 2-4 with a homer of his own. Kyle Hendricks (your eventual NL Cy Young Award winner, I’m confident) gets another win as Chicago cruises to a demoralizing victory over Pittsburgh.

Brewers 8, Rangers 3 – Jonathan Lucroy, Jeremy Jeffress, and Carlos Gomez experience a homecoming of sorts, but Milwaukee did not welcome them with open arms. The Brewers’ electric young shortstop, Jonathan Villar, went 3-4 and went deep twice.

Mariners 4, Astros 3 F/11 – Hey, Robbie Cano, have a night! Two homers, including the game winner in the 11th.

A’s 1, Angels 2 – Mike Trout went 2-2 with a home run and Jered Weaver had a very nice outing himself; five innings, no earned runs.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 5 – There were not one, but two bench clearing episodes. Four Yankees were ejected, including starter Luis Severino and manager Joe Girardi. Apparently there’s some beef about inside pitches and bat flips, and not from who you might think it is. Hint – it’s not Joey Bats.

Rays 1, White Sox 7 – Big Game James finally gets a big W by his name, his first in two months. Story time: I think James Shields is overrated and always have. I have a different nickname for him. It’s politically incorrect, and actually kind of ableist, but secretly that’s what I call him all the time. So you know my terrible secret, I call a not so great pitcher by a potentially bad nickname. I bet you know what it is without me having to type it. Anyway, in much better and happier news, Justin Morneau hit a home run and drove in 3! Party!

Reds 15, Cardinals 2 – God Bless America, that’s a bad game. That score is an embarrassment. If I were a Cardinals fan I would be walking around with a bag over my head right now. Actually, I would do that regardless of the score of the game, BUT STILL. The Reds ended up with 22 hits off of the STL pitching staff. They got seven off of them in the fourth inning alone! Good gravy, that’s awful.

D’backs 14, Nationals 4 – Yikes! The Nats got bit by them Gritty Snakes! Arizona had a pair of five run innings in this crazy dismantling of Washington at home. Jean Segura went 3-5 and hit two home runs. Jake Lamb hit a homer, as did Mitch Haniger. Nats found themselves without the services of Bryce Harper.

Indians 7, Tigers 4 – Well, finally. The boys from the Magical Land of Cleve have clinched the AL Central with this win over Detroit. But because it’s Cleveland, of course there’s some bad news to go with it. Corey Kluber was pulled from the start due to groin tightness. I’m not a dude, so I can only imagine, but I don’t think that’s a very good thing.

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12 thoughts on “He Said, She Said – Recaps for 9/26/16

  1. Playing a pat hand over the winter would probably be a fatal career move for Jeff Luhnow.

    Astros need a corner outfielder, a catcher, and at least a #2 pitcher, maybe two. That is all assuming they have enough candidates at first base that one will end up working out.

    If they can get to 86 wins they will at least not have lost ground between 2015 and 2016. In retrospect, they had too many holes to expect greatness, and people really underrated the Rangers. But somewhat of a disappointing season.

    Like

  2. We saw a bit of both sides of our National Sport last night. The tributes and the camaraderie at the Mets/Marlins game were rather moving. I think a rather fitting tribute to the great young man taken from us far to early.

    Then there were the Yankees and the Jays………

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  3. ca·thar·sis
    kəˈTHärsəs/

    noun
    1.
    the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
    synonyms: emotional release, relief, release, venting.

    Dee Gordon’s home run was the grand catharsis everyone needed, including me. Watching that ball sail into the upper deck, I knew I was seeing something extraordinary, the stuff of myth before mythopoesis refashions it. He’d never hit anything that far, not even in batting practice. He threw everything he had into that swing – his pain, his entire career’s worth of hitting knowledge, and it looked like, too, his last five or six incarnations’ worth of physical strength. He went 4-for-5 on the night, his best night at the plate since last season. I suspect that Dee will also feel something of redemption considering his PED suspension earlier in the season. What a moment.

    Another great moment: Justin Bour got his first career triple in the third inning and took a swan dive worthy of one of Walt Disney’s dancing hippos from Fantasia to reach third base. That drew a wave of hilarity from the Feesh dugout, the first big laugh of the night. We all beaucoup needed it.

    http://m.mlb.com/mia/video/topic/30959422/v1189290683/nymmia-bour-lines-his-first-career-triple-to-right/?c_id=mia

    Other stuff to remember: Keith Hernandez breaking up during the Mets broadcast while discussing what the loss of El Keed meant to him and to baseball (note: due to their uber-classy expressions of empathy during the pregame ceremonies, I am hereby retiring the term “Mutts” along with Jose’s number 16). Gary Cohen couldn’t handle it either. Only Ron Darling seemed to maintain some semblance of composure until you saw the video of the scene and realized that he was turning the mike over to Keith before losing it himself.

    • The Iron Giant fighting back tears to rally his guys during an impromptu huddle on the mound. He had been pretty stoic – numb, ackcherley – during the press conference the day before but he had described himself as “a wreck” afterwards and showed it during the ceremony. Then, with his groin still aching from that not fully healed third grade strain that took him down for a month, and his speed cut down by the bandages and pain, he made a racing, diving catch of a long liner in the top of the second:

    http://m.mlb.com/mia/video/topic/8877454/v1190464283/with-heavy-hearts-marlins-honor-their-ace

    It was that kind of night. Meanwhile an impromptu memorial to El Keed has grown up at the northwest entrance to the stadium. Fans will probably keep on bringing flowers, bobbleheads, photos and what have you for some time to come. The young woman in the photo is Junko Sasaki, a tourist from Japan and baseball fan who had included Macondo in her itinerary to see El Keed pitch. Instead, she helped get the shrine underway:

    The shrine is now much, much bigger, including a triptych on fiberboard of scenes from El Keed’s career, a black ribbon and his number 16 writ large. Fans and local residents lined up all day and into the evening to sign it with felt tipped pens and leave messages:

    https://nbchardballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/610588114.jpg?w=610&h=343&crop=1

    For Happytwinsfan: just FYI, the funerals of Jose’s companions on the boat, Eduardo Rivera and Julio Macias, are today and finally receiving widespread local media attention:

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/09/26/loved-ones-remember-jose-fernandezs-new-close-friends-killed-in-crash/

    The Feesh are picking up the funeral expenses for Jose, though I suspect the family will keep the time and location private to avoid a crush scene. Meanwhile, as you can read in the article above, there are crowdfunding sites now set up to help the families of Rivero and Macias cover burial costs. I’ve made a small donation to each. Please feel free to do so yourselves.

    Liked by 4 people

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