Mets Once in a Lifetime Moment: Kirk Nieuwenhuis smashes 3 home runs
By Tim Boyle
On July 12, 2015, an unlikely hero stepped up to the plate three times for the New York Mets and went deep each time. This was the day Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit three home runs in a single game.
The 2015 New York Mets season ended with a loss in the World Series to the Kansas City Royals. The season did, however, include some amazing moments. Included was a once in a lifetime moment on July 12th from outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
In the last game before the All-Star Break and only a few days removed from returning to the Mets from a brief stay with the Los Angeles Angels, Nieuwenhuis began the game with a batting average of .106. He had not hit a home run all year long, but this changed in a 5-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
Nieuwenhuis began the game as the number five hitter between first baseman Lucas Duda and catcher Johnny Monell. On a 3-2 pitch, Nieuwenhuis took Diamondbacks’ starter Rubby De La Rosa yard to begin the second inning.
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An inning later, Nieuwenhuis repeated history. This time, though, he took De La Rosa deep for a two-run shot on a 2-0 pitch.
This was the last chance Nieuwenhuis had to feast against De La Rosa. When he came up to the plate in his third plate appearance, Randall Delgado was on the mound in relief.
However, like his first trip to the dish, Nieuwenhuis worked the count full to lead off the inning. The result was the same. The 3-2 pitch landed beyond the outfield wall yet again. For the third time in the afternoon, Nieuwenhuis trotted around the bases as a hero.
Nieuwenhuis isn’t the only player in Mets history to go deep three times in a game. Ten other times, a player representing the orange and blue practiced his home run trot thrice in one day. You can argue, though, that at least in recent memory, he’s the most obscure to do it.
Nieuwenhuis hit only one other home run in 2015 but did play well down the stretch for the Mets as a part-time player.
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When you mention his name to Mets fans, there’s one moment they think of. It’s this once in a lifetime moment when a guy nobody expected hit not one, not two, but three home runs in a single game.