The New York Mets entered Wednesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins third in the National League in road home runs with 102, behind only the St. Louis Cardinals (121) and the Chicago Cubs (103).
With two, two-run homers by James Loney and Jay Bruce in last night’s 5-2 win, the Mets are closing in on a franchise record for road home runs at 105, set in their N.L. pennant winning season back in 2000. They now sit at 104 before the start of their final three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, who they’re playing on the road at Citizens Bank Park. The stadium is widely known to be a hitter’s haven, and according to ESPN Home Run Tracker, they average 2.51 home runs per game, good for the fourth highest mark in the National League this season.
The Mets have already shattered their previous franchise high in regular season homers, currently at 216, second in the N.L. behind only the Cardinals (218). Their previous record was an even 200, set in 2006. Power and home runs have remained a huge theme for this 2016 Mets squad, something they’ve lived and died by when it comes to scoring runs this season.
The current leaders in road home runs for the Mets this season are Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson (17), Neil Walker (13), James Loney (6), and four tied with five homers each (Cabrera, Conforto, Johnson, and Wright).
Rewind to 2000, when the Mets’ road leaders in homers featured players we’d be watching at an Old Timer’s Day event at Citi Field today (make it happen Mets!). The top five that season were Mike Piazza (21), Todd Zeile (14), Edgardo Alfonzo (12), Robin Ventura (12), and Derek Bell (10).
Last night’s starter, Jose Urena, had only given up one home run to a Mets player this season in 44 at-bats, a solo shot off the bat of Jay Bruce in the Mets 6-4 loss at home on September 1 against the Marlins. Entering the game last night, Urena had given up a total of nine homers in 78.2 innings while pitching in relief for the first half of the Marlins’ season, and then moving to the starting rotation in July. Urena also made 12 starts for Triple A New Orleans, surrendering four homers in 48.1 innings pitched. Urena held the Mets hitters to a .552 OPS coming into last night’s start.
But the Mets changed the narrative against Urena Wednesday night, as Loney took him deep in the second inning, a two-run shot to right that tied the score at two. Bruce followed with a two-run shot of his own in the fifth, giving the Mets a 5-2 lead which they held on to. It was Bruce’s first back-to-back home run games since July 26-27 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, when they were visiting the San Francisco Giants.