Buck's record-setting grand slam in the 2nd inning put the Mets into double digits, as they cruised to a series-opening 16-5 win over the Twins.
The Good Stuff:
- With flurries fluttering all around, the runs came in as such when Jordany Valdespin led off the game with a bloop single to left. Daniel Murphy doubled to put them both in scoring position and David Wright's double made it 2-0 quickly off Minnesota starter Vance Worley. After Ike Davis walked, John Buck converted his blazing hot start into a bit of luck as a hard groundball to third went through the wickets of Trevor Plouffe. After a Marlon Byrd two-run single two batters later, the visitors had a commanding 5-0 lead.
- After the Twins responded with a couple runs in the bottom of the 1st, the Mets kept the train a-rollin' in the 2nd, when Valdespin, Murphy, and Wright produced deja-vu singles to make it 6-2. Davis drew another walk, this one of the 10-pitch variety, to bring up Buck, who left no doubts on who the hottest baseball player on the planet is with a second-deck grand slam to left. After adjusting his beard on the steps, Buck descended into the dugout with the following marks:
- Buck's six home runs on the season have now surpassed the home run totals of all Mets catchers during the entire 2012 season.
- He has hit home runs in four consecutive games, one shy of Richard Hidalgo's franchise record, making him the first Met to accomplish the foursome since David Wright in June 2007.
- Buck's 19 RBIs are the most any player has ever driven in during his first 10 games with a new team. The mark is also the second most in Amazin' history, five shy of Jeff Kent's April 1994 record of 24 ribbies. And we're still closer to April Fool's Day than May Day.
- Buck's heroics relegated these outstanding offensive lines to page two:
- Jordany Valdespin - 2-5, 3 R, 1 RBI
- Daniel Murphy - 4-5, 2 2B, 3 R, 4 RBI (mostly courtesy of a bases-clearing two-bagger in the top of the 7th)
- David Wright - just a HR shy of the cycle, Captain America's line read 3-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI (doubling his total for the season)
- Even New York's 7-8-9 tandem of Marlon Byrd, Mike Baxter, and Ruben Tejada combined to do great things, collectively going 5-15 with three runs.
- Scott Atchison, Greg Burke, and Aaron Laffey combined for four innings of scoreless, one-hit relief pitching.
- Jonathon Niese's 22-game streak of six or more innings ended as he only lasted five frames, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits, four walks, and a strikeout on 101 pitches. This can be excused for two reasons: first, the snowy weather was playing tricks on both starters; second, scoreboard. The result: W #2 of the season for Niese.
- Ruben Tejada's defensive woes continued as a throwing error in the 5th clocked him up to five E6s on the young season. It took him until July 23 to get to that many last year.
Said Keith Hernandez on tonight's SNY telecast about John Buck, "I don't think I've seen anyone hotter out of the shoot." Amen, brother. So I'll talk about the rest. Sure, the Minnesota Twins may have some of the worst pitching in baseball (Philadelphia outcast Vance Worley was their Opening Day starter), but they've still managed to win four games so far, so our boys must have been doing something right. In any other situation we'd be singing the praises of a red-hot Daniel Murphy, but instead he takes a backseat to the white-hot Buck. When either of them cool off is yet to be seen, but if they both keep it up for another week or so, they may be battling each other for NL Player of the Month for April. Because just imagine how good they'll be when they don't have to play in (mini) blizzard-like conditions. Whoa baby.