It must have felt something akin to a homecoming after a long spell away for the sold-out crowd. It definitely felt that way listening to the echoes of Shea over the radio airwaves, just as clear on the ESPN broadcast. Ain’t no party like a New York party ‘cause a New York party don’t stop.
The house was full and the crowd was rocking when the Mets’ bats came a-knocking in the third inning. With the crowd already in delirium from back-to-back homers by Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy, I can only imagine that the finest bedlam and most admirable disorder took place when Lucas Duda, suddenly the hottest hitter in any known league, dropped a moonscraper off the facing of the Pepsi Porch for his ninth home run in his last 26 at-bats on the homestand.
Oh wait, I don’t have to imagine almost anything anymore. There’s social media for instant memory:
There's a new vibe in Citi Field lately, and rightfully so. Listen to the Duda HR pic.twitter.com/FQ2wrrlDPi— ShitBallPlayersDo (@ShtBallPlayrsDo) August 3, 2015
Here’s my memory from better seats (I can't believe my eyes so much that I cover them at one point):
Citi Field sounds like Shea during its glory days during that Duda bomb. #LGM (h/t @theteacherchris) pic.twitter.com/fFDvoDZaHX— C7em (@TheClemReport) August 3, 2015
Here’s the ball after I caught it (I know dude!):
This is a link to right field's scouting report on Bryce Harper which I filed later on.
Here’s some guy I ran into in the parking lot after the game:
Okay, that was in the previous night's parking lot. Does it matter at this point? Do you remember what it was like when the Mets couldn’t borrow a two-out hit? Or hit a home run? They now combine the two and it is the greatest thing since the last time salty met sweet. The desert valley of that 7-game losing streak in June which knocked us out of first and below .500? This hot fire is your reward if you endured that. Remember when the Mets had the lowest batting average and runs scored per game in baseball, on the lowest BABIP in baseball? Oh, wait, they still do? You can’t hold us down, numbers!
Looks like we’re about due for regression on how serious a certain spring training t-shirt is being taken:
Here's a picture of the #Mets new shirts. pic.twitter.com/4ciamA5fm3— Robert Brender (@robertbrender) February 23, 2015
Like the first thing that guy in the parking lot said: "Let’s take this shirt."
Do you remember Thursday? Man, did that happen this week too?
Few things about Mets history have been predictable other than the swell of emotion, support, and both being voiced at robust volume when the Mets are playing meaningful games. It’s enough to make you rethink who really owns this team. So yeah, this is turning more into like a recap of Mets history, spirituality, social revolution in general, and our traumatic modern Memento-like existence rather than just the recap of the game. Weeks like this tend to cross some wires in people's heads and conflate time and space.
So to be a little more immediately game-specific—
Recap of your post-game emotions:
You almost don’t want to hope for too much this time. But it’s too late. You admit to yourself you’re infected and want to go ahead and eat opponent’s brains via cheers while this pitching staff is intact.
Recap of Wilmer Flores' night:
1-for-1 with a pinch hit double in the eighth, two loud ovations plus three separate "Wil-mer Flor-es" chants and one "Wil-mer! Wil-mer!" chant.
Recap of our new center fielder's night:
Yoenis Cespedes was not challenged in the field, but got to show off a strong and accurate arm in the sixth when hitting the cutoff man and holding a runner at second on a fairly deep flyout. Got to score on Duda’s homer. Got a taste of meaningful baseball in New York, which might come in handy for future contract purposes.
Recap for those who like to measure things with numbers:
- Syndergaard’s curve was beast. He spun it 28 times, 21 of them being strikes, with a whiff rate of 25%. The hammer known as Mjollner was the finishing blow on five of his first seven strikeouts.
- His four-seam fastball averaged 98.8 MPH tonight, according to Brooks Baseball. Averaged.
- His fastest pitch of the night came on his 109th and final one, which blew away Bryce Harper for a swinging strikeout at 100.8 MPH.
- Murphy’s 426-foot bomb was the 5th longest of his career, in case you were wondering. (I was.) His career longest was 444 feet, off of…tonight’s starter Jordan Zimmerman, during a two-homer outing off the hurler on 7/26/13.
- Duda has a .393 batting average over his last 8 contests, with a slugging percentage of 1.393 and an ISO of 1.000.
- Following their epic homerless streak, the Mets have rocked 26 long balls in the last 19 games.
- The Mets are now 38-6 in games that they’ve scored at least four runs.
- Metsiest stat of the night: The Mets are actually one game behind the Nationals in the loss column. They can’t even tie for first place properly. Well, if at first you don’t succeed, etc.
- Number of days since you’ve felt this good as a Met fan – minimum 2500 days.
Crazy, disjointed times call for crazy, disjointed celebrations. This franchise and this fanbase have both repeatedly shown this capacity. Whether ultimately due to inalterable density or destiny, this was once again the case during their series sweep against the Nationals. Both Mets players and fans stood up on the biggest stage, and declared with Sinatra-level game: "If I can make it here…"
SB Nation GameThreads
* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* Federal Baseball GameThread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Curtis Granderson, +23.5% WPA; Lucas Duda, +11.6% WPA; Noah Syndergaard, +11.1% WPA
Big losers: Nobody associated with the Mets, for once
Teh aw3s0mest play: Curtis Granderson's 2-run homer in the third, +26.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Anthony Rendon's homer in the first, +11.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +13.6%
Total batter WPA: +36.4%
GWRBI!: Daniel Murphy!