Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/30/13
Shortly after doing an unfamiliar meeting with the media in the Mets clubhouse following Thursday’s 11-3 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies there was something waiting for Anthony Recker beyond the room’s outer doors. A member of the team’s food staff was standing holding a birthday cake in her arms with a lone flickering candle atop it. Thursday was Recker’s birthday. The Mets journeyman backup catcher turned 30. He hit a home run drove in two and his team won. Happy birthday indeed. "I like it here" Recker said. "I feel good here. I hope to stay here for as long as I can so we’ll see." Even on a day that seemed to center around him it was hard for Recker to peer into the future. He had been a reserve catcher from the beginning of the season rarely used with John Buck handling the bulk of the duties. Then nine days ago when the team decided to call up catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud Recker was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. "I was just hoping that I’d get another shot" Recker said of getting sent down. "Wherever it was whenever it was." He didn’t have to wait long being recalled Tuesday in the roster shuffle that happened when Buck and Marlon Byrd were traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates a day after pitcher Matt Harvey went on the disabled list. And the Mets didn’t have to wait long to remember why they had kept Recker around for much of the season. "He does exactly what (the scouts) told me he was going to do" Mets manager Terry Collins said of Recker. "They told me he’s got some power. They said he’s got a chance to hit some home runs. He calls a nice game handles the pitching staff. He’s done a great job." Recker’s numbers in Thursday’s blowout weren’t the gaudiest (Daniel Murphy went 4-for-5) or the most productive (Eric Young Jr. drove in three with a bases-clearing triple). But with the hits the Mets roster has taken in the past week between injuries and trades and inconsistencies at the plate Recker’s birthday surprise was most welcome. Plus he navigated starter Carlos Torres (3-2) through 6⅔ innings of near-flawless pitching. Torres allowed just one run and scattered four hits while striking out six and walking none.
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