WHAT IT MEANS: Hours before their flight to L.A., the Mets finally awoke.
Daniel Murphy resoundingly snapped a lengthy long-ball drought by homering in consecutive at-bats, Ike Davis also went deep as part of a career-high-matching four-RBI day that lifted his batting average above the Mendoza line for the first time this season, David Wright drove in five runs, and Scott Hairston piled on with a grand slam as the Mets thrashed the Cubs, 17-1, Wednesday afternoon.
The Mets halted their losing streak at four games and avoided their first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field since 2004.
It was the club’s highest scoring output since an 18-5 win against the Cubs on Sept. 5, 2010 -- a game in which Jon Niese also benefited from the run support.
The four homers established a season high.
The Mets produced consecutive six-run frames in the fifth and sixth innings. Those scoring outputs matched the season high for any inning. They also posted six runs in the seventh inning at Tampa Bay on June 12.
Actress Jane Lynch pepped up the Wrigley Field crowd despite the rout by leading fans in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Murphy had gone 273 at-bats this season without a homer -- the most in the majors without a long ball -- before belting a two-run shot in the fourth against right-hander Jeff Samardzija that provided a 4-1 lead. He homered again the following frame against reliever Casey Coleman as the Mets upped their lead to 10-1. It was Murphy’s first career multi-homer game.
Dating to last season, Murphy had gone 352 at-bats since his last homer, which came off Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels on July 16, 2011. The longest drought on the Mets belongs to Ruben Tejada, who has gone 508 at-bats since his lone major league long ball, against the Cubs’ Marcos Mateo. Tejada's homer happened to come in the Mets' 18-run outburst two seasons ago against the Cubs.
Minnesota’s Jamey Carroll now has the most at-bats in the majors this season without homering -- 244.
With a 3-for-5 performance, Davis lifted his average to .201, above the Mendoza line for the first time this season. He had plated Lucas Duda (more later) with a double for a 2-1 lead in the fourth. He added a three-run homer in the fifth that made it 9-1 and chased Samardzija. It was Davis’ second career four-RBI day. He also reached that total with a grand slam against Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta on June 18.
Wright’s five RBIs fell one shy of his career high, which he has accomplished three times. Justin Turner replaced him in the bottom of the sixth with the Mets ahead by 15 runs.
It was the second slam of Hairston’s career. The other came Sept. 6, 2009 with Oakland against Seattle’s Shawn Kelley. Davis and Mike Nickeas also have produced slams this season for the Mets.
RUN, LUCAS, RUN! For a second straight day, Duda had an adventure on a Davis double into the right-field corner. This time, Duda all but stopped at second base, but nonetheless resumed running and chugged home. It was the first time in six instances this season in which Duda scored from first on a teammate’s double.
On Tuesday night, despite third-base coach Tim Teufel waving him home, Duda stopped at third base. That merited a postgame meeting with Terry Collins.
WELL-SUPPORTED: Niese limited the Cubs to one run on eight hits and a walk in a 118-pitch effort spanning seven innings. He escaped a first-and-third, no-out jam in the first inning, before the rout began.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets head to Dodger Stadium for a four-game series against NL West-leading Los Angeles. Chris Young (1-1, 3.42 ERA) opposes ex-teammate Chris Capuano (9-2, 2.60) in Thursday’s 10:10 p.m. ET opener.