Cespedes jacks 3 homers in historic game
Mets slugger first MLB player with at least 5 hits, 3 blasts, 7 RBIs, 5 runs, stolen base
DENVER -- As the vapor trail of Yoenis Cespedes' sixth well-struck ball neared the farthest reaches of Coors Field, the Mets outfielder lowered his head and sprinted around the bases. Cespedes was already 5-for-5 with three home runs, a double and a single on Friday night, well-established as the primary contributor in what became a 14-9 Mets win over the Rockies. Before stepping to the plate for his sixth and final at-bat, he had already achieved what he considered the best game of his life.
So as Cespedes bid for a sixth hit and a potential cycle, he said afterward, "All I had in my mind was, 'Go to third.' I was trying to go to third base and get a triple. I knew I had hit it hard."
Carlos Gonzalez's running catch of that ball wound up being the only disappointment in what Cespedes called "a special game." The Mets' most significant non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition homered three times in the first six innings, logging a grand slam in the second, a solo shot in the fourth and a tiebreaking two-run blast in the sixth. He was responsible for seven of the Mets' first 10 runs, hitting all three of his homers to center or right field.
By night's end, the list of superlatives spilled off the page. Cespedes became the 12th Met to record three homers in a game and the third to do so this season, matching Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda. It marked the first time in franchise history that three players accomplished the feat in the same year, and the first time any team has done it since 2011.
But Cespedes' 5-for-6 game also included five runs scored, seven RBIs and a stolen base, making him the first player in big league history to record at least five hits and three home runs with all those trappings. Remove the stolen base and he's still just one of four players to check the other boxes, joining Shawn Green as the only one to do so since 1954.
"I haven't seen anything like that," manager Terry Collins said. "He just continues to display some of the things that everybody says he can do. When you see it, you just shake your head because he's a special talent."
Even Cespedes, however, had never achieved anything like this. The outfielder's seven RBIs set a career high, tied for third most in franchise history. His 15 total bases also were a personal best, one shy of Edgardo Alfonzo's team record set in 1999. With this performance, Cespedes continued to float above and beyond even what the Mets expected when they acquired him minutes before last month's Deadline.
"He's got big-time power and we saw it on display tonight," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It was a matter of time before he'd get on a roll."
A certain amount of good fortune went into the Mets' acquisition of Cespedes, which occurred two days after their deal for then-Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez fell through. While Gomez has floundered in his new home in Houston, batting .192 in 19 games there, Cespedes has thrived in New York. He is hitting .316 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 18 games, a significant portion of that damage occurring Friday.
"I've been feeling great all this time," Cespedes said afterward, unwrapping a roll of bright orange tape from each forearm. "It's like any other great hitter, they find a night where they're locked in and they won't miss the ball."
"Now," Collins added, "you just can't wait to see what he's going to do tomorrow."