WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: Mike Stanton #27 of the Florida Marlins rounds the bases after hitting a homerun in the top of the second against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 27, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
With one swing of Lucas Duda's bat Monday night at Citi Field, the collective hearts of Marlins fans sank into the depths of despair. And with one swing of Mike Stanton's bat an inning later, they were lifted to the heights of elation.
Um, perhaps it wasn't as poetic as all that, but Monday night's series opener in New York was every bit as dramatic.
After seven strong one-run innings by Javier Vazquez, Leo Nunez took the mound in the bottom of the ninth, charged with holding the Marlins 3-1 lead for his 31st save of the season. But rather than saving the game, just one strike away from a win, Leo blew the lead on a two-run homer by Duda that tied the score.
Jason Isringhausen took over for the Mets in the top of the tenth, and after recording one out, gave up singles to Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez and DeWayne Wise to load the bases. After a visit to the mound, Mike Stanton stepped into the batters box and hit a grand slam to left field, giving the Fish a 7-3 lead.
Burke Badenhop sat down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, and the Marlins took game one of their series with the Mets in ultra dramatic fashion.