By John Schweibacher
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The New York Mets finished off one of their most eventful and memorable homestands ever in a virtual tie atop the National League East.
The Mets completed the 6-4 homestand with a three-game sweep of the first-place Washington Nationals Sunday night. Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda all homered in the third inning in the win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in Mets history that three left-handed batters hit home runs in the same inning.
Duda, who became the first Mets player to hit nine home runs in an eight-game stretch, also homered twice and drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning double in the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Nationals Saturday night.
Duda’s game-winning RBI ended his streak of eight straight hits which went for home runs. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the previous team record of five straight hits, all homers, was held by Bobby Bonilla (1992) and Ike Davis (2012).
Wilmer Flores’ emotional roller-coaster reached its high point Friday night with his game-winning home run against the Nationals that gave the Mets a 2-1 victory.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 12th-inning homer was the latest (in terms of innings) walk-off homer in the seven-year history of Citi Field, and it was the first walk-off homer by a Mets second baseman since Wayne Garrett connected off future Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm, then with the Cubs, in the 10th inning on September 28, 1970.
Here are the latest (in terms of innings) game-ending home runs in Mets history:
· 6/10/83: Dave Kingman vs. Mtl, 2run HR in 17th
· 7/9/77: Lenny Randle vs. Mtl, 2run HR in 17th
· 5/23/06: Carlos Beltran vs. Phi, solo HR in 16th
· 9/1/63: Tim Harkness vs. Mil, 2run HR in 16th
· 6/19/71: Donn Clendenon vs. Phi, solo HR in 15th
Here are the seven game-ending, extra-inning homers at Citi Field:
· 5/8/10: Henry Blanco vs. SF, Solo HR in 11th
· 6/8/10: Ike Davis vs. SD, solo HR in 11th
· 10/1/10: Josh Thome vs. Was, solo HR in 10th
· 7/20/11: Angel Pagan vs. Stl, solo HR in 10th
· 4/24/13: Jordany Valdespin vs. LA, grand slam in 10th
· 8/2/13: Eric Young, Jr. vs KC, 2run HR in 11th
· 7/31/15: Wilmer Flores vs. Was, solo HR in 12th
The Mets led the Padres, 7-1, after six innings in the rubber game of their three-game series last Thursday, but San Diego rallied from that six-run deficit in and around two rain delays to beat the Mets, 8-7.
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that the Mets had lost only one previous home game in which they led by as many as six runs in the seventh inning or later, a 9-7 defeat vs. the Braves at Shea Stadium on August 26, 1970.
That night, the Mets also led 7-1 after six innings. But they rallied with two runs in the seventh and three runs in both the eighth and ninth — including home runs from Clete Boyer, Orlando Cepeda and Hank Aaron — for the come-from-behind win.
Duda became the second Mets player to hit three home runs in a home game in their 7-3 loss to San Diego last Wednesday night at Citi Field. He joined Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who was the first ever to do so against the Diamondbacks on July 12.
Duda also became the second Met (and sixth player overall in major league history) to hit three solo home runs, accounting for all their team’s runs in a loss. He joined Davis, who hit three solo homers against the Diamondbacks in a 6-3 defeat on July 28, 2012 at Arizona.
Noah Syndergaard threw eight shutout innings in the Mets’ 4-0 win over San Diego last Tuesday night. Syndergaard retired the first 18 Padres batters before Will Venable led off with a single in the seventh inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the farthest into a game a Mets rookie pitcher has taken a bid for a perfect game.
The only other Mets rookie to retire even the first 15 batters of a game was Gary Gentry, against the Phillies on June 17, 1969. Larry Hisle was the first man to reach base against Gentry in that game, a single to start the bottom of the sixth inning in an eventual 1-0 two-hit shutout at Connie Mack Stadium.
Happy Recap: Home Sweep Home — The Mets have now swept nine home series this season, their most since 1990.
Nine Miles of Rough Road: Long Road Ahead — The Mets, who are now 38-18 at Citi Field, will play 32 of their last 57 games on the road, where they begin the week 17-32.