Citi Field hasn't suddenly become a bandbox, but the Mets lately have been knocking balls out of the park at a surprising rate. Curtis Granderson's leadoff home run against the Braves Tuesday night tied the club record of eight straight games with home-field home runs, and the 21 homers they had hit in the previous 19 games since June 17 were the most in the National League in that span.
So, has the ball started to carry in warm weather, or have the Mets developed a tougher attitude since Lamar Johnson replaced Dave Hudgens as hitting coach on Memorial Day?
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"I think a lot of it is the weather," said David Wright (2-for-5, with an RBI). "I think Lamar has done a fantastic job and been put in a tough situation with not knowing a lot of these hitters. To be thrust into that situation and go through a period where he's trying to learn guys' swings, he's done a very nice job."
Granderson said: "L.J. didn't come in saying, 'Hey, we're going to try to do something different in terms of driving the baseball.' The main thing is to be ready to hit once you step into the box from pitch one because that might be the best pitch you get. That sometimes results in the ball getting driven out of the ballpark."
Granderson and Wright agreed the Mets shouldn't have mental blocks about the size of the park. "I don't think it's a valid excuse to go up there and say, 'We can't hit home runs here,' " Wright said. "Our park plays big. There's no denying that, but at the same time, if you hit it, it will go. We've proved that recently."
Bobby Parnell, who had Tommy John surgery in April, is scheduled to begin throwing for the first time Aug. 8 . . . Carlos Torres, whose pitching hand was hit by a batted ball Monday, had swelling, but X-rays were negative . . . Reliever Gonzalez Germen was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to open a roster spot for Dillon Gee.
With Marc Carig