Flushing, NY: If Robinson Cano was productive the first half of the season for the Mets as he was Tuesday night at Citi Field all the questions about his value would not be about the trade that brought him to New York from Seattle.
Batting in the cleanup spot, Cano had a night to remember and signature one with his first career three home run game. That production of five RBI provided the Mets all they needed in a 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres.
So the boos that Robinson Cano heard a majority of time at Citi Field quickly turned to cheers. The Mets just about out of a postseason hunt surly were looking for this production on a consistent basis.
“Why this is a great game,” Manager Mickey Callaway said. “He’s working the right way. More importantly he stayed positive and broke out tonight that’s for sure.”
The Mets hope the 36-year old Cano will continue to provide this production the final four years of his contract.It had been expected but the first half was one the Mets and Cano want to forget.
The first home run came off a changeup in the fourth inning off Padres’ starter Chris Paddack that went into the second deck in right field. In the sixth, runner on, a curveball went into the Mets bullpen in right
And with a man on in the seventh inning, Cano connected off a Logan Allen fastball to the Coca Cola deck in right field for his 9th home run of the season.
With the three home runs, Cano also became the oldest second baseman to accomplish that feat.
Home runs, they have been a part of Robinson Cano. But hitting three in one night after hitting only two this month of July was a nice thing to see. He hopes to see the consistency continue
“It was hard for me to hit four,” Cano said and that drew some laughs from the assembled media in front of his locker. “It feels good. Everything is going my way.”
And it has been a vast improvement. The 4-for 4 night also saw him become the 13th player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. Cano in the 10th year of Citi Field history became the third Mets player to hit three home runs.
“It’s a long year and he’s starting to put together some good hits,” Dominic Smith said.
It was also the the 23rd multi- home run game of Cano’s career and most of those came on the other side of town with the Yankees.
NOTES: Jason Vargas caught a lot of attention with various scouts from opposing teams watching his start. The rumors persist that Vargas, in his walk-off year, is targeted to be traded before the July 31 deadline.
The left-hander kept the Padres at bay with a quality changeup and pitched 6.0 shutout innings, his second scoreless start of the season. He allowed one hit to Eric Hosmer that went for a single in the fifth inning.
“He’s the Jason Vargas we expected him to be,” Callaway said. Vargas, struck out 8 and has a 1.83 ERA in seven starts at Citi Field this year and got the win.
Vargas, 5-5, on the season said, “Trying to do my best and not hitting the fat part of the plate. Fortunate to get some swings and misses.” He was not asked about the trade rumors and said the changeup that was clocked at 74 was his primary pitch.
It was the main pitch as Vargas threw changeups among his 99 pitches and only saw trouble in the fifth inning when he allowed two Padres to reach base.
Edwin Diaz had a fifth straight scoreless outing and recorded his 22nd save after entering the game with two runners on and no outs…
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