PHILADELPHIA – Citizens Bank Park became Cespedes Bank Park on Tuesday night.
Yoenis Cespedes continued his mastery of the Phillies and power display in the Phillies’ home stadium by tying his career high with three homers in the Mets’ 14-4 win Tuesday night. Cespedes drove in five runs and homered in the first, fourth and fifth innings in a 4-for-6 night, and he’s the first player in team history to record two three-homer games.
Some of the good vibes from the win were mellowed when starter Matt Harvey (2-0) left the game in the sixth with a tight left hamstring. He allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Cespedes entered Tuesday’s game with a .154 average and one homer in 26 at-bats, but he’s always pounded Philadelphia pitching and swatted homers in this park. He recorded nine homers and 22 RBIs in 25 previous games against the Phillies, and five homers in 13 games at Citizens Bank Park.
He added to those homers right away Tuesday, and put the wheels in motion for the Mets’ best offensive output of the season. With two on and no outs in a scoreless game in the first, Cespedes demolished a 91 mph fastball down Broad St. from Clay Buchholz and hit it over the 401 sign in center to give the Mets a 3-0 lead three batters into the game.
Three innings later, Adam Morgan tossed a hanging slider to Cespedes, and he rocketed it inside the foul pole down the left field line to push the lead to 8-1. In Cespedes’ next at-bat, Morgan threw a fastball down the middle, and Cespedes again did not miss and hit a towering bomb into the seats in left field for a 9-1 lead.
The pro-Mets crowd at Citizens Bank Park roared when Cespedes came to the plate in the seventh and eighth innings with a chance for a four-homer game, but they had to settle for a double and a fielder’s choice.
Cespedes’ three-homer game marked the 13th in franchise history, and he recorded his other Aug. 21, 2015 at Coors Field. Cespedes also tied the franchise record with four extra-base hits, and is the only player in team history with a pair of four extra-base hit games.
In homering three times at Citizens Bank Park, Cespedes has now homered at this park more than any other in which he did not play road games, and eight of his 15 hits here have left the yard while 11 have gone for extra bases.
While Cespedes stole the show Tuesday, his teammates also joined in on the fun, with every position player recording a hit and the Mets (5-3) blasting seven homers. Lucas Duda homered twice while Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud also tallied long balls, and even slumping veteran Jose Reyes had a double.
Reyes was dropped from the leadoff spot to the seventh spot in the order, and though his double snapped a 0-for-15 streak, he still finished just 1-for-6.
As the offense rolled, Harvey too had a strong night before having to leave the game with his tight hamstring following a play at first base in the sixth inning. The starter induced a grounder to first from Michael Saunders, and recorded the out when he covered the bag and received the flip from Duda.
Harvey walked back to the mound and was attended to by trainer Ray Ramirez, and after a brief talk with manager Terry Collins, Harvey the game after just 92 pitches. Harvey walked off the field under his own power, and time will tell whether this prevents him from making his next scheduled start against Miami.
Hamstring injuries can linger and sideline players for multiple weeks.
Before departing, Harvey continued what he started in his season debut by handling the Phillies with relative ease. He allowed five hits and walked one, and his fastball sat in the 94-97 mph range early. The Phillies mounted a threat in the fifth in a 9-2 game by loading the bases with two outs, but Harvey struck out All-Star Odubel Herrera with a slider.