Thursday, April 10, 2014
Series recap: Young a road sparkplug again
By Mark Simon
Eric Young Jr. continues to be a dominant player for the New York Mets once he gets out on the road.
Young was 3-for-5 with three stolen bases and four runs scored in Thursday's 6-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. He’s the first player with three hits, three steals and four runs in a game since Emilio Bonifacio for the Miami Marlins against the Washington Nationals in 2009.
He’s also the first player in Mets history to record such a stat line, and the first player to have such a line against the Braves since Bobby Bonds in 1973.
Eric’s father, Eric Sr., hit those benchmarks in a game once, in a 16-15 loss to the Montreal Expos during the 2000 season.
Young led off three innings with hits, and in those three innings, the Mets scored four runs (one in the first, two in the third, one in the fifth).
Throughout his Mets career, which spans a little less than a full calendar year, Young has been a much more productive player away from Citi Field. He’s hitting only .191 at home as a Met, but on the road he’s hitting .299 with a higher ground-ball rate, a higher line-drive rate and a better walk rate.
Young had a nice bounce-back in this series, going 5-for-12 with five runs scored. The one blemish on his record was that he struck out for the eighth straight game to start the season.
Young made one adjustment this series after meeting with Mets management. "We just had a meeting. They told me to be comfortable,” he said. “I said, ‘Obviously, we’re going to have some bumps and bruises, but the main thing is being comfortable up there.’ I’m not really trying to be too mechanical up there. I’m just relaxing and letting my natural ability show. I think I was listening to a lot of outside factors and thinking about it too much in the box instead of keeping it simple.”
Young accounted for three of the Mets' five stolen bases on Thursday. The five steals matched the most the Mets have ever had against the Braves in a game. They also had five in a game in 1985.
Torres is Freeman’s Kryptonite
Carlos Torres struck out Freddie Freeman in the seventh inning, continuing his run of success against the Braves star.
Freeman is 1-for-8 against Torres in the past two seasons. He’s hitting .372 against all other Mets pitchers during that span.
Colon achieves a Mets rarity
Bartolo Colon pitched seven walk-free innings in a scoreless start on Wednesday. He’s one of only three pitchers in Mets history to throw seven scoreless walk-free innings in Atlanta. The other two are Tom Seaver (1968) and Kevin Appier (2001).
The view from the other side
A tip of the cap to the ESPN Stats & Information home-run tracking crew for this one: The 477-foot homer hit by Justin Upton on Thursday is the second-longest against the Mets in the past nine seasons. Prince Fielder hit a 484-foot homer against Jose Lima in 2006.