Duda, Mets cut magic number to 1 with 12-5 win over Reds
Sep. 26, 2015
CINCINNATI (AP) — A chant of "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" filled the Mets' clubhouse.
They were just getting warmed up for something much wilder.
Only one more win, and it's on to the playoffs.
Lucas Duda hit a pair of three-run homers on Friday night, and Noah Syndergaard dominated with his 99-mph fastball while pitching into the eighth inning, leading the Mets to a 12-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that moved New York to the verge of its first playoff spot since 2006.
The Mets' magic number for clinching the NL East was reduced to one with Washington's 8-2 loss to Philadelphia.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Syndergaard said.
Oh, just wait.
"It's definitely pretty special," Duda said. "It's a very exciting time."
Duda was the catalyst as New York stretched its road winning streak to nine games, matching the club record from 2006. He had a pair of RBI doubles on Thursday night in a 6-4 win, and hit three-run homers off Anthony DeSclafani (9-12) and Tony Cingrani on Friday. His six RBIs were a career high.
Duda had been in a slump until the last few games. He took extra batting practice a few days in a row to fix his swing.
"It's nice to see his swing's back," manager Terry Collins said. "He's a big piece in the lineup."
Curtis Granderson added a three-run shot in the eighth as the Mets pulled out to a 12-0 lead.
Syndergaard (9-7) allowed five hits and struck out 11 over 7 2-3 innings, the fourth time he's reached double-digit strikeouts. He retired 16 in a row over one stretch.
"It felt pretty amazing tonight," he said.
The Reds fell to 90 losses for first time since 2007, the year before Dusty Baker took over as manager and led the team to three 90-win seasons.
The Mets are 24-15 all-time at Great American Ball Park, the best winning percentage by any NL team. They've excelled on the road overall, going 28-11 since July 1.
The road has been Syndergaard's weak spot. The rookie came into the game only 1-5 with 4.47 ERA on the road, compared to 7-2 at Citi Field with a 2.57 ERA. He's been much better lately, winning his last two road decisions.
Syndergaard also had a pair of hits, including an RBI single in the second inning. Duda's 23rd homer made it 4-0 an inning later and extended the Mets' club-record streak of at least three runs in each of their last 29 road games.
Daniel Murphy doubled and had an RBI single as he extended his hitting streak to eight games. David Wright has hit in five consecutive games.
WHO'S AT SHORTSTOP
Ruben Tejada will remain the starting shortstop for now, filling in for the struggling Wilmer Flores. Collins said Flores looks tired. "So you know what? We're going to play Tejada for a few games and see if we can get Flo's energy back."
Mets: Juan Uribe pinch hit and left the game after aggravating a chest injury suffered last Sunday. X-rays were negative.
Reds: Manager Bryan Price plans to use RHP Michael Lorenzen for one-inning appearances out of the bullpen the rest of the way to limit his pitches. The rookie has made 21 starts and thrown 109 2-3 innings.
Mets: RHP Matt Harvey (12-7) can clinch the title for New York. He's 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three career appearances against the Reds. He won his only start at Great American Ball Park in 2012.
Reds: LHP John Lamb (1-3) has never faced the Mets. Lamb, acquired from the Royals in the trade for Johnny Cueto, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last three starts.
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