Friday, April 14, 2017

d'Arnaud and Mets stun Marlins in 16-Inning Classic


One thing is very apparent in this early season for the New York Mets of 2017: they have tremendous guts. The Mets not only beat the Marlins for their fifth consecutive win that pushes them to 7-3 on the season, but they sent a direct message around the league that they are a team that is going to be reckoned with all season.

While, no one should be surprised by the Mets early season success, it wasn't that long ago people came into the season thinking the Mets were an enigma. Well, maybe they still are an enigma in many respects. Surely the Mets aren't perfect. But a 9-8 win in 16 innings was impressive, and if anything, it should give Mets fans confidence this team can do some big things.

The hero of the night is easy: Travis d'Arnaud. d'Arnaud caught all 16 innings of this ball game in South Beach and had one of the best nights at the plate of his major league career. He was 4-for-6 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI. He opened the game with a huge bases clearing triple in the second inning that erased a 4-0 deficit.

In the eighth inning, with his team trailing 8-7, d'Arnaud connected on a two-out single to center, and came all the way around to score the tying run on Michael Conforto's RBI double.

For the next eight innings the Mets and Marlins remained tied, and again it was d'Arnaud who came up in the clutch. He took the second pitch he say from reliever Adam Conley and crushed to the left-center field for a solo home run. It was, dare I say, Piazza-esq from the moment, to the swing, to the power. It was gorgeous.

In case you are wondering, d'Arnaud is hitting .333 with two homers, nine RBI and four walks in nine games. If anyone came into the season with more questions, it was d'Arnaud. Many had speculated that the Mets were done with him after a poor season last year with throwing runners out, and his very soft bat the past couple of seasons. There was even speculation in the off-season that the Mets would trade him, or acquire a veteran catcher to take his job.  While the sample size is incredibly small, this tremendous start by the Mets catcher should leave a smile on the face -- because seeing a man succeed when everyone doubted him is the greatest comeback of all.

Speaking of silencing the doubters, how about Hansel Robles? Robles found a way into and out of trouble in the 15th and 16th innings to get the W for the Mets. The was the fourth straight game Robles has pitched. He was clearly on fumes in the 16th, but gutted it out to get through the middle of the order and get the win.

Yo Power: The power of left-fielder Yoenis Cespedes was on display yet again, Thursday. Cespedes belted two more home runs that helped launch the Mets to a 7-4 lead in the middle innings. Cespedes now owns six homers and 10 RBI just 10 days into the season. The man is on pace for a monster 40+ homer campaign if this keeps up.

NEXT: The Mets (7-3) continue their four game series in Miami on Friday night. Thor A.K.A. Noah Syndergaard gets the ball for New York. First pitch is at 7:10.

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