Update: Well, the streak is over. Duda hit a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning against lefty reliever Matt Thornton.
Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is on a home run tear. The slugging lefty drilled solo home runs in each of his first two plate appearances on Saturday night against the Nationals, giving him eight since July 25, a span of seven games and 25 plate appearances. What’s more: all eight of those hits have been home runs.
- July 25: Duda hit two solo home runs in a 15-2 rout of the Dodgers.
- July 28: Duda hit a two-run home run off of James Shields in the first inning in an eventual 4-0 win against the Padres.
- July 29: Duda swatted three solo home runs, providing all of the Mets’ offense in a 7-3 loss to the Padres.
- August 1: Duda provides both of the Mets’ runs against Nationals starter Joe Ross with two solo home runs.
The game is tied 2-2 after seven innings at the time of this writing.
Duda’s triple-slash line is up to .244/.345/.476. On the season, he’s slugged 20 home runs and knocked in 47 runs. He hit a career-high 30 home runs last season and could be on his way to equaling or surpassing that by season’s end.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.