Lucas Duda is in a crush groove. He hit two home runs against the Braves Wednesday, giving him three in three games. The Mets know his home run binges will come, it’s the arrival and duration that’s impossible to determine.
Duda isn’t one to analyze it. That’s up to Terry Collins.
Duda homered to right-center in the third inning off Braves starter Jhoulys Chacin, then the lefthanded batter went opposite field in the fifth, smashing Chacin’s pitch over the wall in left-center. He has seven homers this season.
“For me, those are great signs for Lucas Duda,’’ Collins said after the 8-0 victory. “I saw this guy play in the minor leagues. When I saw him play, I said this guy is going to hit a lot of home runs in the big leagues because he hits them to all parts of the park. Got up here, you know, he kind of got thinking about pulling the ball . . . That’s what he can do, when he gets on one of these runs he can hit them anywhere, at any park. I just think it’s going to help him out knowing that even on a [rainy] day like today, going to left-centerfield like that is big. So, I just hope he stays hot because he can carry you.’’
Duda said, “I’m seeing the ball pretty well right now, you know, putting the barrel on it and it’s leaving the park. It was kind of an odd day. It was raining. I didn’t think the ball was carrying very well. But, you know, they left the yard, so I’ll take them any way I can get them.’’
Duda hit a career-high 30 homers in 2014, then 27 last year. He had six over four games in July (including three in one game against the Padres) and five in three games in September. He has 108 homers in his career with 14 multi-home run games.
“He’s one of the strongest guys on the team,’’ said Neil Walker, who leads the Mets in homers with nine. “He’s going to hit his close to 30 home runs a year. He’s got power to all fields, as you saw today. Whether you’re averaging one for a month and you end with 24 or 25. Or, you hit 10 in a matter of a month and you don’t hit another one for three weeks, then all of a sudden you hit five more and you’re at 15 midseason, I’ve seen it all.
“I played with guys like Andrew McCutchen [in Pittsburgh]. He hits 25 a year. He rarely hits more than one in April and then all of a sudden mid-June, early July he’s got 15. Guys like Lucas and [Yoenis] Cespedes, you know they’re going to get their 25 or 30 every year. It’s just a matter of how.’’
Lucas Duda is 11th on the Mets’ all-time home run list but has a good chance to move up to seventh in the not-too-distant future:
1. Darryl Strawberry 252
2. David Wright 238
3. Mike Piazza 220
4. Howard Johnson 192
5. Dave Kingman 154
6. Carlos Beltran 149
7. Todd Hundley 124
8. Kevin McReynolds 122
9. Edgardo Alfonzo 120
10. Ed Kranepool 118
11. Lucas Duda 108