Saturday, June 25, 2011

Game #77: Mets 14, Rangers 5

Carlos Beltran scores in the first inning as the Mets jump all over Texas early. (
Everything is bigger in Texas. Even small ball.

Lucas Duda hammered out three doubles, the last one the high point of an 8-run 6th inning, skyrocketing the Mets over the Rangers, 14-5.

The Good Stuff:
  • Last night, the Mets had one run. Today, they surpassed that total before the first out. After leadoff singles from Jose Reyes and Willie Harris, Carlos Beltran lined a triple to right, scoring both. Daniel Murphy the followed with a sac fly, and all of a sudden it was 3-0 early.
  • In the 3rd, Willie Harris reached on a questionable error, and Carlos Beltran followed with a single. After two outs, Lucas Duda looked to put more runs on the board. Already with one double in the 1st, Duda slashed another one to score Harris and Beltran. He was brought home almost immediately by a Josh Thole RBI single.
  • But those 3-run innings pale in comparison to what happened in the 6th:
    1. Ruben Tejada led off with a single.
    2. Reyes bunted his way to first on the next pitch (multi-hit game #38).
    3. Willie Harris then cracked a single to right on the very next pitch, scoring Tejada (run #1).
    4. With Beltran at the plate, Reyes instituted a double steal, going to third with Harris going to second.
    5. Beltran hit another single to right to score Reyes (run #2).
    6. Texas brought in another reliever. He didn't fare much better: Murph singled home Harris (run #3).
    7. A walk to Angel Pagan loaded the bases.
    8. And up came Big Dude, who put his name in the record books with his third double of the game, a "magic carpet ride" over center fielder Craig Gentry's head that scored 2 more Mets (runs #4 & #5). Duda became the 26th Met to hit three 2-baggers in a game.
    9. With Thole at the plate, Pagan came home on the wildest of pitches (run #6).
    10. Not to be outdone, Thole then blasted a double off the wall in right to score Big Dude (run #7).
    11. Finally came the first out of the inning: Jason Pridie grounded out to second, but advanced Thole to third.
    12. Then Tejada, the man who started it all off with a single, put the cherry on top with a sac fly to score Thole (run #8).
  • Final offensive totals: 14 runs, 17 hits, 4 doubles, 1 triple, zero home runs. When's the last time you saw something like that? Beltran had an impressive 3-hit, 3-run, 3-RBI day, but the biggest story was the emergence of Lucas "Big Dude" Duda. The man had never had a 2-hit game before today, and he goes 4-5 with 3 doubles and 4 big RBIs. He didn't hit a home run, but he's got the potential, and with numbers like that, the Mets may have found their next power hitter. Assuming Davis comes back healthy next season and Beltran is gone, New York fans may see Lucas Duda patrolling right field for years to come. ...Okay, I know it's just one game, but how can you not dream after a game like that?
  • Big Dude and company made life easy for Jon Niese, whose individual record went over .500 after nearly 6 innings of 2-run ball. He really made only 2 mistakes, serving up back-to-back jacks to Adrian Beltre and Michael Young in the 4th. But he had a 6-run cushion at that point in the contest, so I think we can excuse him for those longballs. Niese came out in the 6th with a rapid heartbeat, understandable in the extreme Texas heat. It appears he's alright now, and he left with 5 2/3 innings of solid work...but not before showing Josh Hamilton a thing or two about playing in the day time. Ol' Blue Eyes struck out swinging thrice against Niese, and then one more time in the 7th to complete the "Golden Sombrero."
The Bad Stuff:
  • It didn't need to be, but the bullpen wasn't terrific. Bobby Parnell gave up a run in his 1 2/3 innings, and DJ Carrasco served up the Rangers' third home run of the day, a two-run shot in the 8th to Nelson Cruz.
  • It's easy to forget after such an outburst, but the Mets were playing without two of their regulars today. Jason Bay sat out with a stiff neck and Justin Turner rode the bench with a jammed right thumb. It isn't much cause for alarm though: Bay expects to be back tomorrow, and Turner's been playing through that thumb for a couple weeks now.
Final Analysis:
Days like this don't come around all that often, so let it all soak in. This was a real treat for Mets fans, who see their team respond from a thumping with an even bigger thumping of their own doing, and on regional/national TV as well! Great win, great way to set up yet another lunge at .500 for tomorrow. All I have left to say is, well...Big Dude!


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