For the 13th consecutive season, the Marlins will be spending October at home.
They were mathematically eliminated from the wild card playoff race with a 5-2 loss to the Mets on Wednesday.
Only the Seattle Mariners have endured a longer postseason drought than the Marlins, who haven’t experienced the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003.
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And the Mariners, who last went to the playoffs in 2001, are still in the wild-card race in the American League.
With the pall of Jose Fernandez’s death continuing to linger, the Marlins struck for two runs in the first inning on Martin Prado’s home run, but then went silent in what was their final home game.
“At the end of the day, we don’t want people to feel sorry for what happened to the team, or the results,” Prado said.
But Prado and manager Don Mattingly said the Marlins are still taking their grief onto the field.
“I know guys are trying,” Mattingly said. “It’s just not a lot coming out right now. These last few days have been pretty draining for everyone.”
When the Mets closed out the win, a handful of Marlins gathered at the mound for one last time to honor Fernandez, whose number remained stenciled into the back of the mound.
“It’s going to take a long time for us to recover from this,” said Prado, who is scheduled to speak at Thursday’s private service for family members and players. “This is a devastating loss for everybody — for the team, for his family.”
The Marlins were nine games over .500 on July 31 after defeating the Cardinals. But beginning on Aug. 1 with a loss to the Cubs, they gradually began to drop out of contention.
With an overall record of 78-80, the Marlins would have to win their remaining three games — all in Washington — in order to finish with their first winning record since 2009.
Before heading off to Washington, the Marlins will gather Thursday for Fernandez’s service for family and team members, continuing what has been a heart-wrenching week for them.
After Prado’s eighth home run put the Marlins on top, the Mets tied it in the second on James Loney’s two-run homer off Jose Urena before taking the lead in the fourth on Jose Reyes’ RBI single.
Jay Bruce connected on a two-run homer off Urena in the fifth.
“This is one of those games you owe it to [wild-card contenders] San Francisco and St. Louis,” Mattingly said. “So I think our guys did the best they possibly could. It’s just hard to make up emotion.”
Said Prado: “I know Jose wanted us to go out there and compete.”