New York Mets Five Most Unlikely Heroes so Far in 2012
The New York Mets are proving themselves to be a different team this season. They're currently 31-23, third in the NL East, and keeping up an impressive 19-11 home record.
Oh, and Johan Santana just threw the first no-hitter in the franchise's history. Mets fans have reason to believe that this could be the season they've been waiting for.
Here's a few of the Mets' unlikely heroes so far in 2012.
Jeremy Hefner may not seem spectacular on paper, but he led the Mets to an impressive win against their rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, on May 29. Hefner has four strikeouts in six innings but also did something that some pitchers never do in their careers: Hefner hit a home run that proved to be a deciding factor in their win.
The 26-year-old Hefner is still young, and with a 1-2 record and 5.60 ERA, he should be looking to improve. But if the Mets have this young guy on the mound or at the plate during the right opportunities, he could be a shocking addition to an already impressive Mets lineup.
Something that the Mets have been doing this season that helps them stand out is starting players that they think deserve a chance. Omar Quintanilla was called up from Triple-A Buffalo due to numerous injuries surrounding the Mets shortstop position.
Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno and Justin Turner were all injured and unable to play, so Quintanilla stepped in.
The El Paso, the Texas native had three hits and two runs with four at-bats. He has five runs in his last five games and is batting an impressive .313.
With Quintanilla in the lineup, he brings a new flavor to the shortstop position and he's a powerful addition to the lineup.
On Friday night, the Mets shocked the MLB world when Johan Santana threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, giving the Mets their first no-hitter thrown in franchise history. He threw a career high 134 pitches in the win, and after missing the 2011 season due to surgery on his pitching shoulder, it's clear that he is healed.
Johan Santana is back. He has given the Mets the boost they needed to put them in a different category among other teams. The Mets are now seen as a threat in the NL East. Santana's eight-strikeout night was exhilarating to watch and seemed to boost the morale for the NY Mets and their fans.
With Santana's impressive outing, the San Diego Padres are now the only team in the MLB that has not had a pitcher throw a no-hitter.
In his second season with the Mets, Scott Hairston shows true potential. He has a .318 BA in the last 10 games and three home runs in the last three.
In late April, Hairston hit for a cycle against the Colorado Rockies, and even though the Mets fell to Colorado 18-9 that game, the Texas native's performance stood out.
Hairston has had obvious up and down spurts as a player this season, but if he can remain consistent with the hits and homers, he could continue to be an unlikely hero for the boys in blue and orange.
When Ike Davis was injured last season, Lucas Duda took over the first basemen position. This year Duda finds himself playing right field and he has been a positive impact with a glove or a bat in his hand.
The 26-year-old from Riverside, California is off to an impressive start so far in the 2011-2012 season. Duda has eight home runs, leading the New York Mets roster. He also has 46 hits and 21 home runs in 52 games.
Duda started off the season slowly, but he has picked up his game ever since. With a 162-game season, slumps are normal, and it seems that Duda may have found his stride as of late.
The Mets should make sure they incorporate Duda as much as possible, as he is one of a few of the unlikely heroes the Mets have laid their eyes on so far this season.