NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Mets fans were clamoring for slumping first baseman Lucas Duda to be benched during the National League Championship Series.
After Wednesday night, they’re glad manager Terry Collins didn’t listen.
Entering Game 4 against the Cubs, Duda was batting just .125 in the postseason with no homers and one RBI. He had struck out in more than half his at-bats.
PHOTOS: Mets Win NL Pennant!
Collins did sit Duda for Michael Cuddyer in Game 1 against Chicago, but the Mets’ skipper otherwise showed patience with the slugger, who smashed 27 homers during the regular season.
And it paid off big time in the Mets’ pennant-clinching victory Wednesday, as Duda went 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs.
“Once in a while, you’ve got to show players you’ve got confidence in them,” Collins said after the 8-3 win. “And I thought I did that with Lucas, knowing that if he breaks out, he can carry us. And tonight he broke out.”
Even Duda said he would have understood if Collins had benched him, but was excited that in the end he could help lift his team to a berth in the World Series.
“It was definitely nice to finally contribute, especially to a win, a series-clinching win,” Duda told the Daily News. “It means everything to me that Terry had the faith in me to not turn to someone else. He easily could have done that. And the guys have been so supportive.”
The Mets will open the Fall Classic early next week against either the Kansas City Royals or Toronto Blue Jays.