In today’s game against Atlanta, the Mets opened the scoring in the second inning when Lucas Duda (who the Daily News reported was in danger of losing his job), hit a mammoth solo homer to right field to give the Mets a 1-0 advantage. Later in the frame, Brandon Hicks doubled home John Buck to make it 2-0 Mets.
In the bottom of the third, Juan Francisco launched a solo shot to cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1. In the bottom of the fourth, the Braves evened things up 2-2 courtesy of a leadoff homer from Freddie Freeman.
The Mets went ahead 3-2 in the top of the eighth, when Andrew Brown drove in Collin Cowgill (who had reached on an error) with a single. The Mets added two more runs in the ninth on an RBI double by Jamie Hoffmann and an RBI single from Jordany Valdespin. That stretched their lead to 5-2 and closed out the scoring.
- Jeremy Hefner got the start for the Mets. Despite allowing a pair of solo homers, Hefner was quite impressive. He struck out the last six batters he faced (that’s not a mistake). In his five innings of work, Hefner gave up two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. His ERA for the spring stands at 2.93.
- Lucas Duda, whose hold on the left field job is said to be in jeopardy, crushed a solo homer to right field in his first at bat. He finished the game 1 for 2 with a walk.
- Brandon Hicks had an RBI double in the first. He finished 1 for 2 with 2 walks.
- Jordany Valdespin went 1 for 5 with an RBI single.
- Travis d’Arnaud entered behind the plate in the sixth, and threw out Jose Constanza trying to steal second base in the seventh. d’Arnaud singled to center in his only at bat. He’s hitting .292 this spring.
- Andrew Brown had an RBI single in the eighth.
- Aaron Laffey tossed two and a third innings of scoreless ball to close the game out. He’s yet to allow an earned run this spring. The Mets are stretching him out to prepare him for a starting role in AAA Las Vegas.
Ruben Tejada is having an atrocious spring at the plate. After going 0 for 4 this afternoon, his batting average sits at .115. Lots of players have terrible spring trainings and proceed to turn it on when the bell rings. Let’s hope that’s the case with Tejada.
Like Tejada, Mike Baxter is struggling mightily this spring. It keeps getting stated by those in the know that Baxter will make the team based on past performance, but at some point his failure to be able to do anything at the plate has to be taken into consideration. Baxter went 0 for 3 today and has three hits in 27 at bats this spring. That’s an average of .111.
The Mets host the Marlins tomorrow in Port St. Lucie at 1:10 PM. The game can be seen on SNY and heard on WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM.