Herrera sparks Mets on field, in dugout
Second baseman ignites rally with unique gear, big swing, slick defense
NEW YORK -- You may have asked this question if you watched the Mets' 10-8 comeback win over the Braves on Sunday at Citi Field: Why did Dilson Herrera stick cups to his ears?
You weren't the only one.
"It's hilarious -- all I can think of is that it makes him looks like Shrek," said outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, who played with Herrera at both Triple-A and Double-A. "He always does it when he gets a big play or makes a big play."
Herrera did both Sunday, launching one of New York's four dingers on the day and robbing Freddie Freeman with a diving play.
In between, cameras caught Herrera sparking what may end up being a most … interesting … dugout fashion trend. The youngest player in the Majors -- Herrera turned 21 on March 3 -- appeared to have removed the bottoms of two water cups and stick them to his ears, intentionally adding to his head two sharp green satellites.
"I was celebrating the moment and trying to get a rally going," Herrera said through translator Ricky Bones. "It was a happy moment. I was happy we were coming back."
True, the sound quenchers appeared right after Juan Lagares put the Mets ahead with a three-run homer, capping a five-run comeback. After trailing 8-3 in the fourth, the Mets used the next three innings to jump up 10-8.
"Maybe it's a new thing we got goin," manager Terry Collins joked. "We'll all wear them tomorrow if they work."
Herrera's stellar play in the eighth helped that lead stick -- you know, like cups to ears.
With the Mets up two runs, Herrera left his feet to backhand Freeman's grounder up the middle. His nifty glove-flip recorded the force at second, kept the tying run off base and ended the frame.
"Great play by Dilson," Collins said. "His energy on the club is something we need."
Not only are the Mets grooming Herrera to be the second baseman of the future, but Collins seems inclined to keep him as the second baseman of the present. The rookie is making it look easy, hitting safely in three of four games since returning from the disabled list and providing some much-needed athleticism up the middle.
"Right now, if Daniel Murphy came back it would be pretty hard to take Dilson Herrera out of the lineup," Collins said, implying Murphy would play third.
That was the arrangement when Herrera initially came up at the end of April. Two weeks later, he broke his right middle finger during pregame infield drills, spiraling the Mets' infield situation back into flux. Now, Murphy's on the disabled list with a left quad strain.