NEW YORK- On the date of the trade deadline, July 31st, the New York Mets answered the cries of fans by acquiring a big bat to bolster their at the time horrible offense. Yoenis Cespedes was traded from Detroit to New York in exchange for minor league pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. Cespedes was expected to perform in a big way for the Mets as they made their postseason push. And while he came up in big spots and put up decent numbers, he wasn’t providing the superstar offensive boost that would make them serious contenders for the World Series. If the Mets were to be able to hold back the Nationals for the rest of the season and compete with the big boys of the National League in October, they would need Cespedes to produce like the superstar he has the potential to be.
In the opener of a three game series against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, August 21st, Cespedes would provide just that. The Cuban slugger had never before played a game at the Rockies’ Coors Field, but knew of the effect the thin air and high altitude had on hitters. What some people call the “Coors Field effect”, hitters tend to take advantage of the small ballpark and thin air and put up big offensive numbers in this park. Cespedes, along with the rest of the Mets lineup, was in for a huge night offensively as they looked to take advantage of the Coors Field effect.
Coors Field in Denver, home of the Rockies, is the perfect place for big offensive games.
Jon Gray, Rockies rookie pitcher, was on the hill to start for Colorado on Friday. Gray tossed six innings of one hit, one run ball last time he faced the Mets, but his start against New York this time around would not be nearly as successful. After giving up a run by way of Cespedes(after doubling) scoring on a Lucas Duda single, Gray would himself in a bases loaded jam in the second inning. Cespedes would take the Rockies youngster deep to right field for the team’s second grand slam of the season as the Mets would take a 7-1 lead, and Cespedes collected his first 4 RBIs of the game.
Cespedes celebrates his grand slam in the top of the second inning.
Jon Gray would soon be pulled as he allowed the following batters to reach base as well, making for the worst outing of his young career. Christian Bergman would come in for long relief, and pitched well, going scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when he faced Yoenis Cespedes fresh off a grand slam. He would hit this one to center field, a solo home run making for his second longball and fifth RBI of the night.
Now facing Christian Friedrich, Cespedes would take his fourth plate appearance in the top of the Sixth inning, the game now tied at 8 after a Nolan Arenado 3 run homer and a Nick Hundley RBI triple. With Daniel Murphy at first base, Cespedes would launch his third home run of the night into the bullpen in right center field. These would be his 6th and 7th RBIs of the night.
Cespedes would get his 5th hit of the night in the top of the 8th inning and then steal third after advancing on a groundout. The stolen base added to his already gargantuan line score for the night: 5 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 2B, SB, 15 TBv. Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto both homered as well, providing them in back-to-back fashion in the 7th inning. The Mets would go on to win the game 14-9
This huge offensive night not only for Cespedes but the entire Mets team could be a great sign of things to come. With Cespedes building confidence, he could emerge as the club’s leader as they look to make their first postseason appearance since 2006. The Nationals, while currently struggling, are still capable of making a run to take back the NL East and make the playoffs as everyone envisioned in the beginning of the season. With that in mind, Cespedes providing offensive performances like these will be crucial as the 2015 season closes down on its final quarter.
Prediction: The Mets finish the season 92-70, winning the NL East 3 games ahead of the Nationals.