The New York Mets fell to 6-15-1 this afternoon with a 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
During the loss, Lucas Duda delivered his fourth Grapefruit League homerun when he drilled an opposite field shot well over the left field wall off of Braves starter Buddy Carlyle in the bottom of the second. With the homer, Duda improved his spring average to .306 (11-for-36).
After the game, NY manager Terry Collins spoke about his opening day right fielder:
I think Lucas Duda is going to be a dynamic talent. Obviously he’s power supreme. I just believe that he’s getting very, very comfortable with the fact that he’s a major league player and that he belongs here and that he can hit here. He’s already shown us that he can hit lefties. He can hit righties. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark. And what you’re seeing with some of his home runs is why I think the reconfiguration of Citi Field is going to be a big difference for him.”
In both 2010 and 2011 Duda got off to slow starts, but as he got more comfortable and his playing time steadied, the results followed. This year he is locked into the starting lineup and that assurance alone can go a long way towards helping him feel comfortable right out of the gates. If this Spring is any indication, then there’s a good chance Lucas will hit the ground running, or maybe stampeding is a better word? Either way, Mets fans will have to hope that #21 can remain confident and a little early production should help in that department.
I think both Duda and Daniel Murphy could be poised for big seasons at the plate and if both David Wright and Ike Davis are healthy then the middle of the Mets line-up should give them a chance to lead the NL East in runs scored for the second straight season.
Speaking of Wright, he played five innings on Tuesday afternoon after making his spring debut on Monday. Wright was scheduled to have the day off, but according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, he felt good enough that he requested to be in the lineup.
David was hit-less in two at-bats but said he feels “OK” following the game:
I’ve had five at-bats so far. So I guess I feel OK, considering I’ve had five at-bats. It’s a process. I’m happy with where I’m at now, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
The Mets are back at it tomorrow afternoon when they host the Washington Nationals at 1:05 pm at Digital Domain Park.
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