WASHINGTON -- For most of the past two weeks, the Mets' clubhouse crown, a nightly gift to their player of the game, has sat unused at the bottom of an empty locker. In losing six straight games and 10 of 11, the Mets had no use for their team-bonding emblem.That
WASHINGTON -- For most of the past two weeks, the Mets' clubhouse crown, a nightly gift to their player of the game, has sat unused at the bottom of an empty locker. In losing six straight games and 10 of 11, the Mets had no use for their team-bonding emblem.
That changed Friday, when Travis d'Arnaud stood in front of his locker with the blue-jeweled crown atop his head. In hitting two home runs in a 7-5 win over the Nationals, d'Arnaud helped ensure that the Mets would have enough offense to see them through the game's late-inning dramatics.
"He's dangerous and he's swinging great right now," manager Terry Collins said. "We needed it, certainly, tonight."
Though Collins pushed d'Arnaud down to eighth in the batting order for Friday's game, the catcher contributed almost immediately against Nationals starter Max Scherzer, hitting a two-run, second-inning homer to left field that Statcast™ projected to land 455 feet from home. It was the Mets' longest home run of the season and, at 112 mph, their second-hardest. At the time, it was also the 10th-longest home run in the Majors this season.
Though it did not travel quite so far as the first one, d'Arnaud's second homer -- a mere 420-foot shot -- was the more impactful of the two. That one plated three runs, giving the Mets the lead for good.
All told, d'Arnaud bashed a projected 875 feet worth of homers, driving home all five of the Mets' runs against Scherzer in the process. The multi-homer game was a first for d'Arnaud. The five RBIs also marked a career high. And d'Arnaud has worn the Mets' postgame crown three times in nine victories, more than any other player.
"I just tried to keep things simple today," d'Arnaud said. "Today, I was just trying to see the ball and hit the ball."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.