Three Strikes: Unlikely power sources fuel Mets; Story makes his case
Three things that stood out from the night in baseball on Thursday:
That Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera were able to power the Mets to a 9–7 win over the Nationals speaks to two things: that the Mets are in desperate need of offense; and two, that they’ll take it wherever it comes.
Reyes is 4 for 17 on the year, hitting his first home run of the season on Thursday. Flores, batting .259, is on a hot streak. He has five homers in his last five games, including a three-run shot in Thursday’s win. Cabrera might be the Mets’ most consistent player—and he’s batting .266.
The Mets, still three games back of the Nats but safely in the wild-card hunt, will need unlikely sources like Reyes and Flores to keep them humming toward October. With the uncertainty around Matt Harvey, and the overall inconsistency of the pitching staff, the Mets are going to need to invert the formula that brought them to the World Series last year. Instead of pitching, pitching, pitching, it’s going to have to be timely hitting from every player on the roster.
The story of Trevor Story won’t go away soon. The rookie shortstop hit two more home runs Thursday night in the Rockies’ 11–2 win over the Phillies, bringing his total to 21. That ties the record for most home runs by an NL rookie before the All-Star break. The other two to do it? Dave Kingman (1972) and Albert Pujols (2001).
Story showed some pop in the minors, but the fact that Story has hit more dingers in 78 major league games than he did in 130 minor league games last year (20) gives this story legs.
The 23-year-old, one of the Final Vote candidates in the NL, might not be as dynamic as his predecessor Troy Tulowitzki. But for the Rockies, still far below .500, Story is one tale worth telling.
The Nationals’ Oliver Perez hadn’t had a hit in six years. Thursday night? He went 2 for 2, including a double.
The career .160 hitter is the first relief pitcher in five years to have two hits in a game.