Padres lefthander Clayton Richard allowed 31 homers last season, the most in the National League. And much to the benefit of the Mets, Richard played to his track record, tying a career-high by allowing three homers in what became an 8-4 rout on Wednesday night.
For only the third time in franchise history, the Mets scored 19 runs over their first two games, joining the 1969 and 1979 squads Their latest outburst was powered by the Mets' first three home run games since May 26 last season against the Padres.
-- Left fielder Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer off Richard to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Duda struggled initially while making swing changes in spring training though he finished strong. It was just Duda's fifth career homer off a lefty.
-- Ike Davis started the season 0-for-7 with four strikeouts. But he ended that mini drought in a big way in the fifth, blasting a two-run shot just short of the Shea Bridge in right center to push the Mets' lead to 7-0.
"If those two guys are swinging the bats like they can and driving in runs, hitting the ball in the seats, it's going to be a tough lineup to get through," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Davis and Duda. "There's going to be no breaks. John Buck can do it. We know Marlon [Byrd] can do it. David [Wright] can do it."
-- Right fielder Marlon Byrd continued his strong start with the Mets. Byrd singled in the second just before Duda launched his first homer of the season. He later walked and scored twice. He's hitting .375.
-- Catcher John Buck hit his first homer of the season in the fourth inning, a two-run shot off Richard that put the Mets ahead 4-0. It was a welcome change for the Mets, who got almost no pop out of a catching quartet led by Josh Thole just a year ago. The bottom five teams last year as ranked by home runs from their catchers:
Buck's homer sailed over the shortened fence in right field, though Buck guessed it wouldn't have been a homer at Marlins Park, where he played a season ago.
"I came to a smaller park in New York," Buck said with a laugh. "I'm the only player who could ever say that."
-- The Mets, who emphasized aggressive baserunning during spring training, have had a runner score from first base in each of their first two games. In the fifth inning, Daniel Murphy scored from first base on David Wright's double down the left field line.
-- Submariner Greg Burke allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning, his first big league appearance since he pitched for the Padres in 2009. Burke allowed two hits though he got four ground balls on all four batters he faced.
Lefty Josh Edgin retired the only batter he faced in his season debut though LaTroy Hawkins allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning in his first action of the year. Closer Bobby Parnell retired the only hitter he faced in the ninth inning.