In nine games at Citi Field, Troy Tulowitzki has made it feel like a second home. He went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer on Wednesday night, increasing his career totals in the park to .469 average (15-for-32) with three homers and nine RBI.
So what is it about New York that brings out the best in him?
“Big stage,” he said. “You like it. In New York, a lot of people here love their players, and I think I thrive on, after getting a hit or two, them talking - - to me. I think that gets me going. They were all over me by my third at-bat.”
It was that third at-bat on Wednesday that decided the game. With two on, two outs and first base open, the Mets decided to pitch to Tulowitzki even though he had crushed a homer to left against them on Monday and was already 2-for-2. Even Tulowitzki said being walked – or at least pitched around -- was “in the back of my mind with first base open.” But after Jon Niese threw a first-pitch strike, Tulowitzki said he knew he would get something to hit. The next pitch was a high fastball that apparently was neither high nor fast enough, and he planted it over the wall down the rightfield line.
After his blasts in the first two games of the series, does Tulowitzki expect to see anything to hit on Thursday?
“They walked me in the ninth,” he said. “We’ll see how they pitch to me or if they pitch to me. Sometimes the situation calls for certain things and the inning I hit the home run, it was their decision.”
Oh, and there’s one more thing Tulowitzki said he likes about playing in New York.
“There’s a lot of people here and you want to play well here with the All-Star votes, things like that,” he said. “The fans remember if you play well, and they’re good baseball fans.”
Mets fans will undoubtedly remember this series. But if Tulowitzki is trying to court votes, he may be going about it the wrong way.