Tonight is one of the few times I wish the Mets could use the designated hitter. Damn, after the last two games I’d love to see d’Arnaud starting, but not after catching 16 innings. He might even rest again tomorrow.
The Mets crushed four homers last night – d’Arnaud hit the game winner, plus two from Yoenis Cespedes and one from Wilmer Flores – but credit also needs to go to a bullpen that threw 11 scoreless innings.
The Mets have homered in nine straight games and lead the majors with 20, with Cespedes the individual leader with six.
While it is way too early to make projections, it isn’t too soon to make some assumptions about this team, especially after last night.
The Mets came in at 3:30 in the morning and their No. 5 starter was torched, several of their starters were sputtering, but they rallied from a four-run deficit and behind their power, d’Arnaud – who sparked the comeback with a bases-loaded triple – and their bullpen, the came up with a signature victory.
Much has been written about how this could be a make-or-break season for d’Arnaud, but the same can be said of reliever Hansel Robles, who pitched two scoreless innings in his fourth straight game.
They don’t win last night without Robles, or d’Arnaud, or Cespedes, or Michael Conforto, or several other guys.
That’s what being a team is all about.
Here’s tonight’s starting lineup:
Curtis Granderson, CF: Speculation is if the Mets keep Conforto, the player whose time will be reduced most will be Granderson. He is homerless with three RBI on the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS: Is batting .304 and taking an eight-game hitting streak into tonight’s game. Hit 23 homers last season.
Jay Bruce, RF: Moves up to third with Cespedes getting the night off. Bruce needed a good start and he’s getting one, hitting .300 with four homers and eight RBI.
Lucas Duda, 1B: He’s another who is having a good start, hitting .250 with three homers and six RBI. Has shown no signs of back injury that limited him last season.
Michael Conforto, LF: He finally gets a start. He needs at-bats. If Conforto is to stay up with the Mets, manager Terry Collins needs to come up with a rotation system, and that includes resting Cespedes in left.
Jose Reyes, 3B: Is a career .323 hitter at Marlins Park. Got a hit last night as a pinch-hitter and batting just .079 on the season. Needs to wake up.
Rene Rivera, C: Gets the start for two reasons, 1) to put the brakes on the Marlins’ running game, and 2) because d’Arnaud caught 16 innings last night. Has thrown out two of three potential base stealers.