New York – The New York Mets and Miami Marlins jointly walked off the field after a moment of silence, draping a Black Lives Matter T-shirt across home plate as they chose not to play Thursday night.
After other games around baseball were postponed to protest social injustice, the Mets were late to take the field Thursday and never submitted a lineup to the public or the umpires. Neither starting pitcher threw any warmup pitches. The teams stood around their dugouts in full uniforms shortly before the 7:10 p.m. scheduled first pitch, and the national anthem was played and all players and coaches stood.
Mets outfielder Dominic Smith — a Black man who wept Wednesday night while discussing the shooting by police of a Black man in Wisconsin over the weekend — led New York onto the field. Players took their positions, then reserves and coaches filed out of both dugouts and stood silently for 42 seconds.
Members on each team doffed caps towards the other side before returning to their clubhouses, leaving only the black T-shirt at home.
“The words on the shirt speak for themselves, just having it in the center of everything, just knowing that both teams are unified, and that we agreed to do this,” said Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson, who was Miami’s leadoff hitter and stood near the batter’s box for the silent display. “And it was the right thing to do.”
The scene capped a whirlwind 20-hour span that began with Smith’s emotional press conference following the Mets’ 5-4 victory.
“It really touched all of us in the clubhouse, just to see how powerful his statements were, how emotional he was,” Conforto said “He’s our brother, so we stand behind him and we stand behind (Black Mets outfielder) Billy (Hamilton). All the players who stand up against the racial injustice, we stand behind them. And that’s what you saw tonight.”
Both teams held clubhouse meetings Thursday afternoon before Conforto, the Mets’ player representative, met with Brinson and Miguel Rojas, the Marlins’ player rep.
Conforto said Rojas came up with the idea of the teams walking off the field, and that it came together at the last minute. Conforto and Smith were seen talking with Brinson and Rojas as the teams warmed up.
“We wanted to do something special,” Rojas said. “We wanted to do something different.”
Smith, who implored people to give their time to inner-city communities on Wednesday night, said he’d heard from players in the NBA and NFL as well as baseball players such as Jack Flaherty who were interested in donating money and time to his foundation.
“It’s still overwhelming at this moment, just to see how moved my peers are, my teammates, my brothers, the front office, the coaching staff, everybody who talks to me on a daily basis,” Smith said. “Just to see how moved they were, it made me feel really good inside. It made me feel like we are on the right path of change.”
The 42-second moment of silence came a day before Major League Baseball plans to hold its annual Jackie Robinson Day, which was pushed back from the usual April 15 due to the pandemic.
“It needs to be an ongoing thing,” Brinson said. “It can’t just be one day out of the baseball year that we bring light to everything.”
Padres 10, Mariners 7 (1st)
Mariners 8, Padres 3 (2nd)
In San Diego, Yusei Kikuchi posted his first win of the season and Jose Marmolejos hit a grand slam in the Mariners’ victory over the Padres in the second game of their doubleheader after losing the earlier game.
In his fifth start, Kikuchi (1-2) allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings with six strikeouts at Petco Park. He gave up a solo homer to Manny Machado in the bottom of the first.
Marmolejos, who also hit a two-run homer in Seattle’s 10-7 loss in the first game, connected off Garrett Richards (1-2) in a six-run first inning.
“As with every season getting the first win is always the hardest,” said Kikuchi, who mixed 98 miles per hour (about 158 kph) fastballs with sliders that dove through the strike zone.
“The offense scored early and made it easier for me to establish a game plan. I think I threw the best fastballs this year. The Padres wouldn’t let me get easy outs but it was good I persevered.”
Kikuchi’s Japanese compatriot Yoshihisa Hirano worked one scoreless inning of relief in the seven-inning game.
Dodgers 7, Giants 0 (1st)
Dodgers 2, Giants 0 (2nd)
In San Francisco, Clayton Kershaw pitched six scoreless innings, leading Los Angeles past San Francisco in Game 1 of a doubleheader shutout sweep.
Joc Pederson homered and Will Smith added an RBI double as the Dodgers won the nightcap. They used relievers and didn’t allow a baserunner until Brandon Belt’s leadoff single in the fifth — San Francisco’s lone hit until Belt singled again in the seventh.
The Dodgers recorded two shutouts in a day for the first time since Sept. 19, 1971, against Atlanta. Those scores were 12-0 and 4-0.
AJ Pollock hit a two-run homer and Dodgers star Mookie Betts became the fourth-fastest among active players to reach 1,000 hits in his 824th game with his sixth-inning single in the opener.
Kershaw (4-1) won his third straight start, striking out four and issuing no walks. Josh Sborz completed the four-hit shutout. Víctor González (2-0) pitched 2⅓ innings for the Game 2 win, finished by Kenley Jansen for his eighth save after he missed his first chance Tuesday.
Giants starter Logan Webb (2-3) was done after 3⅔ innings, tagged for five runs on four hits. Kevin Gausman (1-2) took the loss in the late game.
In Other Games
Pirates 4, Cardinals 3 (8 innings, 1st)
Pirates 2, Cardinals 0 (2nd)
Reds 6, Brewers 1 (1st)
Reds 6, Brewers 0 (2nd)