Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/7/13
For the first two months of the season the Mets outfield was as dreadful as many projected – including the club’s own general manager Sandy Alderson. Then the Rockies designated Eric Young Jr. for assignment and the Mets exchanged a borderline major leaguer for him and plugged him in left field in mid-June. A couple weeks later they finally let Juan Lagares loose everyday in center field. Swiftly the outfield with Marlon Byrd as the third cog in right field began producing at an elite level. Last week Alderson boldly labeled the unit “maybe the most productive outfield in baseball.” The declaration was premature but he had some statistical support – the Mets outfield combined for the second-best Wins Above Replacement mark in the majors in July. In the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Rockies at Citi Field Tuesday night Lagares and Young displayed the game-changing abilities at the plate in the field and on the basepaths that has the Mets brain trust suddenly giddy. “I think it’s meant a lot those guys being out there” Mets manager Terry Collins said. With David Wright on the disabled list Lagares’s two-run triple in the first inning off Rockies starter Chad Bettis (0-1 6.30 ERA) supplied the Mets’ lone offense until the eighth inning when he drove in the third run with Young’s intelligent – and risky -- baserunning. With Young at second base after tagging up from first base on a flyout to center field Lagares hit a chopper to the second baseman. Lagares hitting fifth for the first time this season legged out the infield hit when Young catching his former team by surprise with his dynamic speed unexpectedly sprinted around third to score. “I turned around and he was flying” Lagares said in Spanish. “I couldn’t believe he scored.” The duo’s offensive exploits came two innings after they partnered to keep the game tied. With the bases loaded in the in the sixth inning Lagares’s reputation for a strong arm held Corey Dickerson at third base. On cue Lagares’s throw reached catcher John Buck on a line. The next batter Todd Helton laced a sinking line drive to left field where Young made a diving catch to save at least two runs. “You go for that play so you can stop a big inning” Young said.
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