WASHINGTON — Through the years, pitching and the Mets have gone together like peanut butter and jelly. While the Bronx has had its bombers, Flushing has boasted its share of dominant arms.
But Yoenis Cespedes has modified the script, at least slightly. While they still are anchored by fireballers, Cespedes has helped transform the Mets into the most homer-happy team in the National League.
Cespedes is the big-league leader with 15 homers. Not since 1982, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, has a Met led baseball in homers this late into the season. Dave Kingman held the NL lead with 37 homers through games of Sept. 18, 1982.
“He’s a star,” manager Terry Collins said of Cespedes. “He does what stars do — when you need him, they’re there.”
Led by Cespedes, the Mets have slugged 65 homers through their first 45 games, the most in team history. They are tied for the major-league lead with the Orioles and the Rays.
A day off for David Wright opened the door for Ty Kelly’s big-league debut. Kelly (0-for-4) started at third for Wright, who is expected to play today.
The Mets have hoped to have Wright play in more day games such as today’s. Collins also has tried to keep him from playing four straight games.
“That’s something we’ve wanted to stay away from the best we could, so we talked yesterday about it, and he was on board,” Collins said.
Flores starts rehab
Wilmer Flores went 2-for-3 in his first rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Flores, who is coming back from a hamstring injury, played seven innings at first base. He could be activated as early as Friday.