Matt Harvey was the star of the show last night, as he pitched an outstanding game leading the Mets to a win over Stephen Strasburg. But clearly the other story line of the game was the Mets getting two home runs apiece from their lefty power hitters Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. It was the first time in the majors that they both hit two home runs in the same game.
Both Davis and Duda came up in the 2010 season, so on first glance it seems a bit odd that this is the first time they both went yard twice in the same game. However, while they have similar MLB experience, circumstance has kept them from both being in the lineup (and productive) at the same time.
Davis came up early in the 2010 season, while Duda did not debut until a September call-up. The Mets were hoping both would be productive players throughout the 2011 season. But Davis got hurt and missed most of the year. Duda got off to a slow start and when he started hitting, Davis was on the shelf.
Again in 2012, the Mets were counting on Davis and Duda to supply power throughout the year. Davis got off to an horrific start and was one of the worst players in baseball the first 10 weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Duda was underwhelming early, got sent to the minors shortly after the All-Star break and did not provide much power when he did return.
Here in 2013, Duda got off to a solid start but Davis was really struggling to find his swing prior to Friday night’s outburst against Strasburg. If the Mets are going to contend this year, they need everything to break right, which includes big seasons from both of their lefty power threats. Friday night, fans finally caught a glimpse of what could happen when the planets are properly aligned.
Not only was it the first time ever they homered twice in the same game, it was just the second time they both went yard in the same contest. The first time came earlier this season, also in a start by Harvey. In the year’s second game, Davis and Duda each homered once to lead the offensive charge in an 8-4 win over the Padres at Citi Field.
The duo has now combined for 95 home runs in the majors. They’ve also combined for 10 multi-homer games, six by Davis and four by Duda. The Mets are 4-2 in games where Davis hits multiple homers. Five of those six games, Davis had two homers and he has one three-homer game to his credit. The Mets lost that game, which happened last year in Arizona.
New York is just 2-2 in games where Duda has gone yard twice.
With Friday’s outburst, Davis now has a .617 OPS for the season. That may sound poor but recall that after a similar number of games last year, it was a dismal .522 OPS. Meanwhile, Duda’s slugging percentage alone tops Davis’ OPS. Duda now sports a .308/.491/.744 slash line for a 1.235 OPS.
We have already seen that Davis is capable of a big HR season, as he shook off last year’s poor start to hit 32 homers. But coming into this year, it was still just potential for Duda. No one doubted the strength of the 6’4, 254-pound Duda, but his MLB-best mark for home runs was 15. Now after just 14 games he’s already clubbed five and according to ESPN, he’s on a pace to hit 54 HR in 151 games.
No one expects Duda to come anywhere close to that mark. But if he and Davis can combine for 60 HR then that would be a sight for sore eyes for Mets fans wondering where the offense was going to come from in 2013. And even if they fall short of Babe Ruth’s 1927 mark, we will still have the golden memory of what they did Friday night against a star pitcher who had never lost to the Mets previously and a team that has playoff aspirations.