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.