I’d forgotten how great home runs could be. Seriously. Saturday night was a perfect illustration of why they’re such superb creatures when they’re on your side. The Mets hit four home runs. Nothing showy — two guys hit one, one hit two; two came with nobody on, the other two with one on.
Four swings. Six runs. Talk about the efficiencies of the market.
Seeing as how three of the home runs were mashed by players who have no track record as sluggers, the powerful output was a reminder of how enjoyable a random clout can be. Justin Turner and Josh Thole — members in good standing of the Jolly Taters club for one night — are Mets who might hit one out more often if they played in more amenable surroundings. Jason Bay, too. Bay has a track record for home runs, though it would be more comforting had he converted his records to MP3 files so they would play more readily these days, but he’s on his version of a tear, so we’ll just enjoy that for now.
This wasn’t a Citizens Bank Park-style explosion (like the night the Mets hit seven there on April 19, 2005, the most a Mets team ever popped in one game). It wasn’t some kind of one-Met epic display (last seen at Coors Field on May 12, when Carlos Beltran became the most recent Met to put three over a fence). Though it lopped off a losing streak, it didn’t signal overwhelming deliverance from an arid desert where a certain kind of home run would grow only for the enemy (the grand slam bonanza of Bay and Beltran in Detroit on June 28). And it wasn’t exactly homer or bust, either, the way it was the last time there were four Mets homers at Citi Field (May 7, 2010: two by Ike Davis, two by Rod Barajas, including a most necessary walkoff blast from the latter).
These, against Atlanta, were four home runs hit as part of a nutritionally balanced offensive attack.
In the very same game in which Turner homered twice and Thole and Bay homered once apiece, there were three doubles; there were four stolen bases; there were two singles by the…if you’ll excuse the expression…previously slumping Jose Reyes. There were sixteen hits, all told, and there were five runs batted in without the aid of a home run. Seeing as how the Braves scored seven times themselves, the Mets couldn’t have won solely via power surge. But they also couldn’t have won without their four dingers.
It was just nice to have those arrows in the quiver. I’m not sure why Citi Field suddenly decided to loosen up and permit such frolic, but I’m glad it did. I dig triples as much as the next fan, yet I detest the Mets playing in a ballpark pretentiously built to enable them at the expense of the ordinarily attained home run. Triples instead of home runs: talk about lowering your sights — the Mets can’t afford to give away that many bases one bag at a time. Besides, Lance Johnson once collected 21 triples in a season with Shea Stadium as his home park; Jose Reyes came up with 17 receiving his mail in the same place.
Meanwhile, most nights (Friday night, for example) David Wright booms a ball toward the heavens and then soldiers into second base because, well, balls that would go out of any other park in captivity remain captive to Jeff Wilpon’s cutesy-poo blueprints. Let’s make our ballpark triple-friendly! And while we’re at it, let’s let Wright’s power stroke go largely to waste.
But that’s most nights. For one night, for Saturday night, Citi Field played like a regulation facility, and the Mets played like they knew how to take advantage. For one night, no matter the reported stem fatigue incurred by the center field Apple, it was a lot of fun.
Hope there’s more where that came from.
Thank you to those kind enough to express concern, curative suggestions and best wishes where my headaches are concerned. I was subject to another attack after Saturday night’s game — sort of like Tommy Hanson during Saturday night’s game — and found relief in a dose of some powerful stuff I keep handy. I have cobbled together a pretty good idea as to why these episodes have returned after a relatively long absence (it has nothing to do with either Wilpon) and will take steps to prevent them as best I can. But, again, I just wanted to say thanks for caring.