Last season was one of frustration and futility where home runs and the Mets were concerned. A brand new ball park was held to blame for the lack of oomph in the Mets offense and many were convinced that David Wright would never eclipse 15 homers in a season again.
If this season has shown us anything in the early going, it’s the fact that many of the concerns over the Mets power outage were overstated.
In 2009, the Mets totaled a league worst 95 home runs, and 29 of them were hit at Citi Field, ironically more than the 26 they hit on the road. So far the Mets have slugged 27 home runs as a team in 29 games with 15 of them coming in the now cozy confines of home.
The Mets are currently on a pace to hit 151 home runs this season, and they have yet to get any significant contribution from left fielder Jason Bay who was signed in the offseason to help fill the Mets home run void. Bay has just one home run this season to go with his ten RBIs.
One reason for the Mets new propensity for fence clearing blasts has been Rod Barajas who was signed as an afterthought when the Mets were spurned by Bengie Molina who ironically was behind the plate last night when Barajas slugged the first walk-off home run ever in Citi Field. (Sadly the Mets had no walk-off homers in Citi Field’s inaugural season.) The blast will most likely be forever preserved as a new Mets Classic on SNY. The last time the Mets won a game in such fashion was 123 home games ago on Aug. 7, 2008, when David Wright rocketed one out to beat the Padres.
After last night’s multi homer game by Barajas, his third two-homer game of the season, Hot-Rod is on a pace for 39 home runs this season. Can he continue this torrid pace? Only heaven knows, but anything over 25 homeruns must be looked at as a major steal for the Mets in the offseason.
Ike Davis is another reason for the Mets newfound homer-happy tendencies. The young first baseman has already knocked three out of the park in just 51 at-bats, a pace that could see him finishing with 30 home runs this season and a Rookie of the Year award as well. Daniel Murphy, who was expected to be starting first baseman before being felled by injury, hit just 12 home runs last season in 155 games played. It’s been nice knowing you Murph…
David Wright should easily eclipse the 30 homer plateau this season, and you can pencil Jeff Francoeur in for 20-25. Jason Bay will soon find his stroke, and center fielder Carlos Beltran, the Mets all time season leader in homeruns, is expected back next month and could also hit 20-25 in a shortened season.
The bottom line is that the Mets could finish the season with at least six players hitting 20 or more home runs this season. What a far cry from last year…
Previously, the Mets have only ever had four players hit 20+ home runs in one season. They did it once in 1987 (Gary Carter, Howard Johnson, Kevin McReynolds, Darryl Strawberry) and again in 2000 (Todd Zeile, Mike Piazza, Robin Ventura, Edgardo Alfonzo).
The Mets seemed poised to blow that mark out of the water.
It’s great to see the Mets get back in the power game this season, and you can bank on some more fireworks in the weeks to come.
Cherish these moments…