Coming into last nights game against the Phillies, Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada had just three hits in his last 24 at bats. It didn’t take long for him to turn it around last night when in the second inning he launched a two-out fly ball down the right field line that was misplayed and turned into a two-run inside the park homerun.
Tejada later added an RBI groundout in the bottom of the 5th inning, along with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to give the Mets some added insurance. He finished the night going 2-for-4 with a season high 4 RBI, including that inside the park homerun, the first of his career.
Tejada, 25, helped propel the Mets to a 9-4 victory over the Phillies, and giving the Amazins a ninth straight series win over Philadelphia.
The Mets now have a 74-59 record, maintained their 6.5 game lead over the Nationals, and saw their Magic Number go down to 24 with 29 games left to play.
With all the flexibility Terry Collins has at his disposal now, Tejada spends most of his time platooning with Wilmer Flores. Since the All-Star break, he is batting .291 with 12 RBI. Overall on the season, Ruben is batting a modest .257 with three homeruns and 26 RBI.
Ruben, who may not be the biggest threat offensively with his bat, picks up the slack defensively with his glove. He has just six errors on the season, and has made several eye-opening plays at shortstop.
However, it was in fact his bat that got things started and allowed the Mets to get back on track after their loss on Tuesday night. His inside the park homerun ignited the Mets offense, and helped set the tone for the rest of the night.
Overall, Tejada’s numbers won’t blow you away, but they’re not bad for someone who doesn’t play everyday. He has been somewhat resilient and has a tendency to come through in the clutch. For now, Ruben is a part of the mosaic for this Mets team that continues to battle and find ways to keep winning ball games.