Frazier showing off power before Home Run Derby
NEW YORK -- Mets left-hander Steven Matz did not make many mistakes during his dazzling debut at Citi Field on Sunday, but he left a fastball over the plate to Reds third baseman Todd Frazier that did not go unpunished.
Frazier deposited that 1-2 pitch into the left field seats for a no-doubt solo homer in the fourth inning, although the Reds went on to lose 7-2. It was his 25th home run of the year, which is second in the Major Leagues behind Miami's Giancarlo Stanton (27).
Stanton had surgery on his left hand Sunday and is expected to be sidelined for at least four to six weeks. That leaves Frazier, who is also expected to participate in next month's 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby, poised among the favorites to compete for the Major League lead in home runs. Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Nolan Arenado are tied for third place with 24 while Albert Pujols sits in fifth with 23.
With his homer on Sunday, Frazier became the first Reds third baseman with back-to-back seasons of 25 home runs since Chris Sabo did so in 1990-91.
Frazier grew up in New Jersey and played college baseball at Rutgers. He received a largely positive reaction from the fans at Citi Field, in a stadium he said he has always coming to.
Frazier secured about approximately 40 tickets during this weekend's three-game series to distribute to family and friends. His parents, wife and kids were among those in attendance Sunday to watch him hit his third career home run here.
"It's fun, it's a lot of fun," he said. "People talk about pressure, this isn't pressure. You play this game your whole life, and you've played in front of your family and friends since you've been six years old.
"So I get a lot more energy and I thrive on it."
And consider Frazier among the many who left impressed with Matz, who he considered to be as good as some of the other young arms in the Mets rotation.
"He's close, he's right there," Frazier said. "He's going to be a really good pitcher. …I'd like to face him again."