The New York Mets (44-37) provided the largest crowd at Citi Field with various forms of fireworks, as the guys now have won five of their last six games in an 11-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies (36-46) on Tuesday night.
“We are very pleased with where we are at,” said Mets manager Terry Collins of his squad’s positive play in the first half of the season. “With all of the things that have happened, with the injuries, with the games that we lost that we thought we had a chance to win, we are very pleased to be where we are at.”
Collins continued by saying, “The guys have played very hard, and I think the most impressive thing has been their resilience. After a bad night, or a bad start to have been able to bounce back has been key. There is still a long way to go though, the next 81 we have to play better than what we did in the first 81 and we will see where we are when everything is over.”
With all the great energy surrounding the team as of late and with the guys playing with heart and hustle is it easy to see why Citi Field is setting attendance records. The combination of the great play and fireworks night helped the Orange and Blue draw 42,516, which surpassed the old attendance record set during the Subway Series on June 24.
“Our guys noticed it (the crowd) and it was great,” said Collins. “It helps keep the energy of the club up and I hope the fans saw a team that they want to come back and watch. I wish our fans would realize how important they are when they come out to support us, what it does is it brings out the best in our players.”
David Wright etched in name in another part the Mets’ history book with his home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. The homer, which was driven deep to center field, allowed Wright to surpass mentor Howard Johnson for third place on the club’s all-time home run list.
The bomb was also the sluggers 10th of the season, which is a franchise-record nine time that Wright has been able to reach double digit home runs. David has now passed such names like Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry and Ed Kranepool who had eight such seasons.
“It is an amazing feat especially with the number of great players that have played for this franchise,” Collins said of Wright being able to etch his name in the franchise’s record books. “To have David Wright at his age breaking all of those records is truly a tribute to what a great player he is.”
Wright wasn’t the only one providing offensive firepower to the lineup as the duo of Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy were seen tearing up the base paths. Tejada finished 3-for-5 at the dish, and since returning from the Disabled List has not missed a beat.
The shortstop is hitting .385 (15-for-39) over a span of nine games, and in his last 18 games Tejada is hitting .403 (31-for-77). Murphy, meanwhile, has been red hot, hitting in six straight starts finishing with a career-high tying four hits.
“The fact that he has been so comfortable at the plate has been great to see,” Collins said when asked about what has impressed him since Tejada’s return from the DL. “After missing five weeks and not getting many at-bats, to come up here and to have the discipline he has had at the plate has been truly amazing.”
All of this run support came to help the effort of starter Jon Niese (7-3), who also helped his own cause in the bottom of the second inning. The lefty drove in a career-high tying two runs while tossing a season-high 8.0 innings, allowing one run and three hits, striking out three and walking two to win his third straight start.
“What he has been doing is going after hitters,” Collins said of Niese. “He has been down in the zone and keeping the ball down, he has been changing speeds with his pitches that is what Jon does when he is pitching well.”
Injury update: Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was supposed to start the game, but left after injuring his hand during batting practice. It was announced that the rookie has a right hand contusion, with no further updates on how much time he will miss.
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