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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Preview: 2016 Season - Game 159 - Mets at Marlins - Lugo vs Urena - 7:10 PM

Preview: 2016 Season - Game 159 - Mets at Marlins - Lugo vs Urena - 7:10 PM

Game 159 - New York Mets (84-74, 40-37 Road) at Miami Marlins (78-79, 40-39 Home)

Probable Pitchers: NYM - Seth Lugo (4-2, 2.61 ERA) vs MIA - Jose Urena (4-8, 5.95 ERA)

TV/Radio: SNY/WOR 710 AM

Game Time: 7:10 PM - Batters vs Pitchers Stats at Bottom of Page

The New York Mets can put on a power show.  Lucas Duda hit 30 homers in 2014 and 27 last year. Curtis Granderson has 30 homers this season and 21 RBIs in 23 games this month. Yoenis Cespedes hit his 31st homer of the season Tuesday and is one of the most feared sluggers in the game. Jay Bruce, who had been slumping since the Mets acquired him from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline, has six hits in his past 14 at-bats. He, like Cespedes, his 31st homer Tuesday. Asdrubal Cabrera, a switch-hitter, has 23 homers this season and is hitting .424 in his past eight games.

Add it all up as the Mets did Tuesday when they launched 19 hits in a 12-1 victory over the Miami Marlins -- and it can be scary for opposing pitchers.

Bruce and Cespedes hit homers in the same game for the first time since the Mets made the trade.

"That's what we were hoping they would do," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "If he's back, we're going to be a different lineup."

Another big development for New York was the return of Duda, who had his first multi-RBI game since May 4. He missed nearly four months because of back surgery, returning Sept. 18.

"It's going OK -- it could be a lot better," Duda said of his comeback. "The more I play, the more comfortable I get."

The Mets (84-74) and Marlins (78-79) play their series finale Wednesday, and New York is locked in a three-way battle with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants for two NL wild-card berths, one-half game ahead of San Francisco and 1 1/2 on top of St. Louis.

Happy Recap: 2016 Season - Game 158 - Mets (12) at Marlins (1) - Mets Explode For Twelve Runs, Syndergaard Sharp

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  W: N. Syndergaard (14-9)   L: T. Koehler (9-13)

Happy Recap: 2016 Season - Game 158 - Mets (12) at Marlins (1) - Mets Explode For Twelve Runs, Syndergaard Sharp

Jay BruceWith time running out in the playoff race, the New York Mets set sympathy aside.

Noah Syndergaard struck out eight and allowed one run in six innings Tuesday night, and the Mets totaled 19 hits to beat the grieving Miami Marlins 12-1.

Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes each hit his 31st homer for the Mets, who maintained their half-game lead over the Giants for the first NL wild card. San Francisco routed Colorado 12-3.

The Cardinals also won, beating Cincinnati 12-5, and remained 1 1/2 games behind the Mets with five days left in the regular season.

The game was Miami's second since the death of ace Jose Fernandez in a boating accident. One night after the Marlins' heart-tugging victory over New York filled with tributes to their teammate, emotions were more subdued, and their bats were too.

Syndergaard (14-9) had a lot to do with that.

"Last night was a little different for us," he said. "We just went out there tonight and competed. I feel like that's what Jose would have wanted us to do, with as much passion and heart as possible."

After missing a scheduled start Saturday due to strep throat, Syndergaard threw 93 pitches and lowered his ERA to 2.60, third-best in the majors.

"I felt great. I felt strong out there," Syndergaard said. "Every game right now coming down to the wire is critical. I tried to keep things simple, and went out there and tried to win each pitch."

He'll return for the regular-season finale Sunday at Philadelphia if needed.

Miami's Dee Gordon, who hit a Hollywood-worthy homer in the first inning Monday, again got things going in the first. This time he reached on a bunt, stole second and came home on a single by Marcell Ozuna.

But against Syndergaard, the Marlins advanced only one other runner to second base.

"I'm sure our guys are exhausted," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "But momentum is controlled by their guy. This cat's got great stuff."

For mourners at Marlins Park, there were nudges toward a return to normal. The Kiss Cam and organ music returned after a one-game hiatus, but the dugout dancers were still missing, along with the sea creatures that usually race around the warning track.

Marlins players were back in their regular uniforms after they all wore Fernandez's No. 16 on Monday. But each jersey sported a patch with "16" on the sleeve, and the number remained stenciled on the back of the mound.

The crowd was mostly quiet, except for transplanted New Yorkers. Bruce hit a two-run homer into the upper deck in right field off Tom Koehler in the second inning, and Cespedes hit an even more majestic two-run shot off the home run sculpture in the third.

Lucas Duda contributed a three-run double, and Bruce and Curtis Granderson also drove in three runs for the Mets.

"We kind of got back to business as usual," Bruce said. "Hearts are still heavy, and they're going to be here. But we needed to win this game today, and we were able to do that."

Koehler (9-13) allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Preview: 2016 Season - Game 158 - Mets at Marlins - Syndergaard vs Koehler - 7:10 PM

Preview: 2016 Season - Game 158 - Mets at Marlins - Syndergaard vs Koehler - 7:10 PM

Game 158 - New York Mets (83-74, 39-37 Road) at Miami Marlins (78-78, 40-38 Home)

Probable Pitchers: NYM - Noah Syndergaard (13-9, 2.63 ERA) vs MIA - Tom Koehler (9-12, 4.02 ERA)

TV/Radio - SNY/WOR 710 AM

Game Time: 7:10 PM - Batters vs Pitchers Stats at Bottom of Page

Don Mattingly was a New York Yankees minor-leaguer when Thurman Munson died in a plane crash on Aug. 2, 1979.

Munson was the Yankees' 32-year-old star catcher -- a seven-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove winner, a two-time World Series champion and a former Rookie of the Year and American League MVP.

Image result for syndergaard brThe Miami Marlins, the team Mattingly now manages, suffered a horrific tragedy of their early own early Sunday morning when 24-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez -- already a two-time All-Star -- died in a high-speed boat crash.

Mattingly said he can see the correlation to what the Yankees lost in Munson and what the Marlins lost in Fernandez.

"It feels like that," Mattingly said. "The way we talk about Jose and his personality, you are not going to forget that. Jose will have a presence in this organization even after we're long gone."

Fernandez's tragic death seemed to inspire the Marlins (78-78) on Monday in a 7-3 win over the New York Mets. It was the Marlins' first game after Fernandez's body was discovered and after the scheduled Sunday game against the Atlanta Braves was cancelled.

The Mets (83-74) clearly ran into a team determined to honor Fernandez, but whether that emotion can carry over to Tuesday is another question.

New York will start right-hander Noah Syndergaard, whose turn was moved back a couple of days due to step throat.

Syndergaard, whose fastball consistently clocks at 100 mph, is 13-9 this year with a 2.63 ERA. He has been fairly consistent all year, winning six games at home and seven on the road and posting a 2.56 ERA before the All-Star break and a 2.75 ERA after the Midsummer Classic.

However, given his electric stuff, he probably hasn't been as dominant as the Mets would like, especially with the team in a tight playoff race. New York sits in the first NL wild-card position, a half-game above San Francisco (82-74). The St. Louis Cardinals (81-75) are a game behind the Giants.

Miami will counter Syndergaard with right-hander Tom Koehler, who is 9-12 with a 4.02 ERA.

Koehler will make his ninth attempt this season at getting his 10th win. He is 0-4 in his past eight starts and hasn't won a game since Aug. 9 vs. the Giants.

Recap: 2016 Season - Game 157 - Mets (3) at Marlins (7) - Emotional Marlins Win One For Fernandez

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  W: M. Dunn (5-1)   L: B. Col√≥n (14-8)

Recap: 2016 Season - Game 157 - Mets (3) at Marlins (7) - Emotional Marlins Win One For Fernandez

New York Mets v Miami MarlinsDee Gordon and the Miami Marlins wore their emotions on the sleeves of their No. 16 jerseys.

Jose Fernandez would have loved it.

Gordon homered leading off the first inning for the Marlins, who totaled 14 hits and mixed cheers with the tears of the past two days by beating the New York Mets 7-3 on Monday night in their first game since Fernandez died in a boating accident.

"We were hitting balls underwater pretty much," slugger Giancarlo Stanton said. "Our eyes were full of water."

Adam Conley pitched three scoreless innings subbing for Fernandez, who had been scheduled to make his final start of the year. Justin Bour went 3 for 3 and Gordon had four hits, including one that will go down in Marlins lore.

Paying tribute to their charismatic ace, the left-handed-hitting Gordon stepped to the plate as a righty leading off the first. After one pitch, Gordon switched to his customary left side, and pulled a 2-0 delivery from Bartolo Colon into the upper deck for his first homer of the season.

The improbable clout brought tears, even from Gordon. He began crying as he circled the bases.

"It seemed like it took forever," he said. "I was trying to get back to my teammates as fast as possible. I was just wondering why Jose wasn't there standing on the top step cheering for me."

After crossing the plate Gordon tapped his chest and waved toward the sky, and sobbed as teammates hugged him in the dugout.

Stanton said the homer from the 170-pound Gordon was unbelievable but easy to explain.

"Pure emotion," Stanton said. "There's no other way it could be scripted, unless you're in a movie rewriting everything that just happened."

Even the Mets appreciated what Gordon's homer meant.

"I saw him crying when he rounded first base," Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud said. "I was crying too."

Each of the Marlins wore black jerseys bearing Fernandez's No. 16 and name, a tribute they had suggested. Stanton delivered an emotional speech as the entire team gathered at the mound moments before the game, and then contributed a hit, a run and a running, lunging backhanded catch in right field to rob Jay Bruce.

The portly Bour hit his first career triple, which he capped with a belly flop into third before rising to strike a muscleman pose that had his teammates and the crowd of 26,933 smiling.

"Anytime JB slides headfirst, it's kind of funny," Miami manager Don Mattingly said.

Conley returned from finger tendinitis that had sidelined him since Aug. 13, and was followed by eight relievers. Mike Dunn (5-1) pitched a perfect fourth, and Scott McGowan retired pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson with the bases loaded to end the sixth.

A.J. Ramos pitched a hitless ninth. When he retired Curtis Granderson to end the game, the Marlins gathered once more around the edge of the mound and bowed their heads, and then tossed their caps onto the dirt and kneeled, tears flowing yet again for Fernandez.

"It's his spot," Mattingly said. "Just kind of saying bye."

An hour after the game, with the ballpark empty, the players again gathered at the mound for several minutes. Twice there was the sound of laughter.

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