Cespedes continues tear with game-tying blast

May 22nd, 2016

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes had bounded out of the Mets' dugout and was already there, waiting to wrap David Wright in a bear hug when the Mets' captain rounded first base on his walk-off hit that gave New York a 5-4 win against the Brewers. Watching the euphoria in Cespedes' reaction, it was easy to forget that the Mets, once again, might well not have been at that point without him.

Cespedes hit another home run Saturday at Citi Field, a game-tying big fly in the sixth inning that let Wright have his stage in the bottom of the ninth. Cespedes' 14th long ball of the season, which arced high and tucked just inside the left-field foul pole, pulled him back into a tie for the Major League lead with Colorado's Nolan Arenado.

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Not just another home run, but another dramatic one. Cespedes has a flair for them. Four of Cespedes' homers this season have tied a game. Two others have given the Mets a lead.

"I think that we have the mentality that, every time we go out, we don't give up until the 27th out," Cespedes said through an interpreter.

This homer came against the team that nearly precluded the Mets from any potential move for Cespedes late last July, before the Carlos Gomez almost-trade fell apart with Milwaukee. Cespedes' latest game-changer was one more subtle reminder that, as he continues to crush baseballs over the Citi Field walls, he was almost never in New York.

"God has a plan," Cespedes said after Saturday's game, "and I'm happy with the decision that was made."

It's no secret that the Mets have been home run-reliant in 2016. After Saturday, their 59 homers through 42 games are the most in team history. Even so, Cespedes, game after game, has been able to reliably drive balls out of the park. His 14 this season are tied for the second most by a Met in the team's first 42 games.

Cespedes now has 31 home runs since joining the Mets last Aug. 1, just one shy of the highest number in baseball by any player during that time frame. He continues to feast especially on pitches in the lower part of the zone. His home run on Saturday was the latest example, coming on a changeup down and over the inside part of the plate.

"I've always been a low-ball hitter," Cespedes said. "I go to home plate with patience."