The Mets longtime first baseman was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitching prospect Drew Smith. Duda’s time in a Met uniform created some memorable moments
As Met fans like myself bid adieu to an integral piece of the team for the last seven seasons, I found myself reminiscing on the countless times Duda launched a bomb to the Shea Bridge or had that clutch go ahead single in the late innings of a game. After delving a little deeper, I came up with what I think are some of Lucas’ best moments as a New York Met.
On August 8th, 2011, Duda batted from the cleanup spot for the first time in his career. Duda did not disappoint, going 3-5 with 2 RBIs and the walk-off hit. Down 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth, Lucas lined a single up the middle off of Padres closer Heath Bell driving in the tying and game-winning run.
On May 28th, 2013, the Mets faced their across town rivals for a pitchers duel featuring Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Harvey. The Mets entered the bottom of the ninth with Mariano Rivera going for the save. After David Wright drove in the tying run, Duda came to the plate hoping to cap off the rally against the greatest closer of all time. He delivered and gave the Mets an exciting come from behind ninth inning victory.
In game 161 of the 2014 season, the Mets faced the Houston Astros. Losing 1-0 and down to their final out, Duda came to the dish with the tying run at third. Rather than just driving in the tying run, Lucas decided to send Mets home happy with a 2 run shot down the right field line.
An Integral Part of Five Days in Flushing
Perhaps the most drama filled five days in Mets history, Lucas found himself right in the middle of all the action. On the night of the Wilmer Flores tears game, Duda became the second Met to ever hit three home runs in a home game.
Three days later, in the midst of a crucial series against the Washington Nationals, Duda put the team on his back, driving in all three Met runs with two solo shots and the go ahead double in the 8th inning.
Finally, Duda contributed to the epic 3 home runs in five pitches on Sunday Night Baseball against the Nats. That inning was when I knew there was something special happening with this baseball team and that us fans were in for one heck of a ride over the last two months of the season.
These are the four moments that are going to really stick out in my head when I think of Lucas Duda. Of course, I’ll never forget his grand slam in the NL East clincher against the Reds or his three run bomb in game four of the NLCS. Oh, and his ability defensively over at first base, a very underrated part of his game.
Thanks for the memories Lucas, nothing but the best with the Rays and wherever your baseball journey may take you.