Heading into the rubber game with the Phillies, few people looking at the match-up would have expected a big outing from New York Mets outfielder Lucas Duda. That is, however, exactly what he delivered. The Big Ox took Cliff Lee deep to right-centerfield on the first pitch he saw in the sixth inning before belting his second home run of the night in the ninth, a solo blast against another lefty, Raul Valdes.
The game marked just the second multi-homer game of Duda’s career and first in which both shots came against lefties. So why the surprise? Heading into last night all five of Duda’s homers this season were against right-handers, leaving him without one in 55 at-bats vs. lefties. In fact, The Dude had NEVER homered against a lefty in his major league career heading into last night (a stretch that spanned 138 AB’s) and had been struggling in general of late.
We can only hope Lucas is finding his power stroke and if that includes some homers against lefties, it’s an added bonus. As Terry Collins told reporters after the game:
Certainly off Cliff, it was a big swing for him. If we get him going, our lineup is going to change immensely…He’s been swinging at some first pitches. He’s worked very hard to make some adjustments in his swing, to get the bat out front, which we saw tonight. Hopefully it continues.”
The team has just 36 home runs on the year, good for third worst in all of baseball, ahead of just San Francisco and San Diego. Let’s hope this is the start of a nice little power surge because I’m not sure the architects at Citi Field will want to spend another offseason coming up with ways to move the walls in even more.
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