A day after nearly getting no-hit, the New York Mets erupted for 11 runs and a season-high 19 hits in an 11-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field on Wednesday.
"I give [hitting coach Kevin Long] and [assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler] some credit," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "They got the guys together before the game tonight, talked about the approaches at the plate, and they took it into the game and applied it and you saw some better results."
Collins and the Mets were shut out and nearly no hit in Tuesday's 4-0 loss.
"Any time you don't look very good and your fans are booing you, it's nice to go out there the next night and show them that that is the great part about our game, we go out there and play again tomorrow," Collins said.
The injury-riddled roster entered the game last in runs per game (2.9) since May 1.
Curtis Granderson, Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera were the only players in last night's starting lineup who were also in the team's Opening Day lineup 10 weeks ago.
Wilmer Flores led the charge Wednesday going 2-for-5 with four RBIs, including a two-run home run.
"Sometimes, you don't get the result that you want, but today I got them," said Flores, who is hitting .375 since June 3.
Kelly Johnson was 3-for-5 with two RBIs in place of Michael Conforto, who was out of the lineup with a sore wrist.
Matt Reynolds also went 3-for-5 with two RBIs replacing Walker, who missed his third straight game with lower back pain.
"Just because guys are injured doesn't mean that we can't win games and score runs," Reynolds said after the game. "Every team goes through their rough periods and every team has their great periods. And, right now, we've been in a rough patch. It happens, but we broke out of it tonight and we showed that we can still play."
Collins is right, they almost all had really good at-bats. And, what's most encouraging is that I don't necessarily think this is 100 percent a response to the pitcher. The team literally had a different approach, which is a great sign because hopefully that means it will continue. They were clearly trying to wait and go the other way the ball. It was a conscious effort, no doubt.
In some cases, like with Wilmer's squib shot up the first base line, which scored a run, it wasn't pretty and resulted in an out, but it got the job done, which is the opposite of what he (and his teammates) had been doing the previous few weeks. He had a similar opposite-field flare later in the game. Then, when seeing the ball well, and confortable, they turned on pitches like it was April.
So, hats off to Long. I don't know what he said to his players, or how he said it, but it got through.
Lastly, Reynolds should be in the lineup more. He appears to have a good head on his shoulders. He's not going to win a Triple Crown, he might not even get on the radar, but he'll work a count, hit behind a runner and move the line. He's reminiscent of the type of player Kansas City used to needle the Mets to death last October. I actually think he might make sense batting leadoff, because I think he can set the right tone, with Walker then Cespedes hitting behind him.