Let’s be honest — none of us thought it was a particularly good idea to name Lucas Duda the starting first basemen. Well, Duda shut all of us up in his first game as the starter Friday night with two home runs to give the Mets their first win of the season.
Eric Young saved what turned out to be an important run in the first inning with a sensational catch that robbed Brandon Phillips of a home run.
The Mets failed to take the early lead for the first time this season. Instead, Jenrry Mejia allowed two walks and a single to Jay Bruce in the third as the Reds took a 1-0 lead.
Curtis Granderson led off the fourth with a double, his third double in the past two games. Duda then hit a bomb to right to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
Following a David Wright infield single in the sixth, it was Lucas Duda again with his second two-run shot to extend the lead to 4-1.
Mejia struck out a career high eight batters in his six innings of work. He allowed one run on just four hits, but he did walk five batters.
And then came nail-biting time, for the game was placed in the unsteady hands of the Mets bullpen. John Lannan came first, allowing a two-out, two-run homer to Bruce to cut the lead to 4-3. He was pulled from the game and walked off the field to a chorus of boos. Kyle Farnsworth closed out the inning.
Farnsworth was back out for the eighth and allowed a one-out single to Brayan Pena. Speedster Billy Hamilton came in to pinch run, and Anthony Recker, who came in for Travis d’Arnaud in a double switch, was able to throw him out. Farnsworth then got the third out.
So it was up to Jose Valverde to protect the 4-3 lead in his first save attempt for the Mets. He got the first out but then he walked Roger Bernadina. Phillips followed with a single to put runners on first and second. Joey Votto flew out to left for the second out. Then came Bruce, but this time Valverde was able to strike him out to nail down the first Mets win of the season.
Mets win 4-3. All hail Lucas Duda!