March 04, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Lucas Duda (21) swings during the spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Tradition Field. Atlanta defeated the New York 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

3/9 Game Recap: New York Mets Beat Houston Astros, 9-6


The New York Mets used the combination of a solid start from Jeremy Hefner and eight runs being scored in the first four innings of today’s tilt against the Houston Astros to come away with the 9-6 victory. Just hours after Adam Rubin titled his morning briefing story on ESPN New York to put some pressure on Lucas Duda, he delivered a multi-hit and multi-RBI ballgame. Duda, Ike Davis, and John Buck occupied the 4-5-6 spots in the starting lineup, while Terry Collins plugged Marlon Byrd in right field and in the lead-off spot.

Highlights:

  • Duda, Davis and Buck led the 12-hit attack for the Mets, as each of them put together multi-hit performances.
  • Duda finally had the breakout game he’s been waiting for this spring, going 3-for-3, including a run-scoring single and double, while scoring a run of his own. After all his early struggles, this big day raised his spring batting average to .273.
  • Buck also had two RBI hits on the day, one going for a ground-rule double and another on a single.
  • Ruben Tejada recorded a hit, as he drove in a run with a single in New York’s four-run fourth inning.
  • Omar Quintanilla capped the Mets scoring in the bottom of the seventh, as he drove in a run with a double in his only at-bat. He’s now hitting .333 this spring.
  • Marlon Byrd collected a hit and scored a run in three at-bats out of the lead-off spot.
  • New York had a lot of success with runners in scoring position, going 5-for-11 in those situations.
  • Jeremy Hefner looked great in his second straight start, as he continues to prep for a rotation spot if Johan Santana must start the year on the disabled list. Hefner allowed one hit and one walk in three innings pitched, while striking out two.
  • Brandon Lyon and Darin Gorski both put together scoreless innings, while Robert Carson, Collin McHugh, and Scott Atchison all gave up runs. Atchison allowed his first runs of the spring today.
  • Bobby Parnell threw on back-t0-back days for the first time this year, disposing of Houston hitters on nine pitchers (all strikes).

Thoughts:

I was relieved to see Lucas Duda finally put together a multi-hit game, and combine his performance with some run-scoring hits and extra base hits. It’s getting to the point in the spring where we should start seeing some results and progress with this new approach he’s worked on with Dave Hudgens since he arrived last month.

It looks as though Hefner is up to the challenge to start the year in the rotation, as it’s still unclear what Santana’s status will be on Opening Day. He didn’t participate in the morning team workout before the game against Houston, and that’s something Collins apparently plans to deal with privately. It doesn’t seem to have any current setbacks from starting Thursday’s Grapefruit League game.

Next Up:

The Mets travel to face the St. Louis Cardinals (minus Carlos Beltran) tomorrow afternoon at 1:05p EST.

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Tags: Jeremy Hefner Lucas Duda New York Mets