OAKLAND, Calif. -- When it finally came, you figured the outpour would be huge.
Relatively speaking -- relative to the New York Mets, of course -- it was epic.
The offense exploded for 10 hits, two of them home runs, in an 8-5 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday at O.Co. Coliseum. It was the Mets’ third victory in their past nine games and the first time they had scored at least eight runs in a game since July 30.
This next series will tell if this is just a blip on the radar or if the offense is starting to progress from historically bad to just bad, or even decent. They are expected to face Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Friday, but even he has been susceptible to the scuffles lately. And by scuffles we are talking about giving up three runs over nine innings. And by lately we mean just in his most recent start.
Zack Wheeler went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs and two unearned runs against Oakland. He missed his 10th consecutive quality start by one out.
Since falling to 2-7 on June 14, Wheeler has won seven of his past eight decisions and six in a row to get over the .500 mark (9-8). Those six straight wins tie Bartolo Colon for the team high in consecutive victories this season.
Bring him on: Apparently it doesn’t matter if Jeff Samardzija is an up-and-comer or an All-Star; the Mets are willing and able to tag him for runs.
Samardzija was rocked for seven runs, all earned, over 3 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits, two of them home runs.
Over Samardzija’s career, first with the Chicago Cubs and now with Oakland, he has appeared against the Mets nine times. In those 21 2/3 innings he has allowed 20 hits, 10 walks and four home runs. The Mets have gotten him for 23 earned runs, an ERA of 9.56, Samardzija’s highest career mark against any team he has thrown at least 10 innings against.
Hey, Duda: Lucas Duda continues to be a bright spot for the offense, hitting his 23rd home run on Wednesday to tie him with Marlon Byrd for fourth most in the National League. It was Duda’s ninth homer since the All-Star break, the second most in the league behind Giancarlo Stanton's 11.
Duda’s three RBIs in the game gave him 69 for the season, extending his career high and tying him for eighth in the league.
Back on track: After getting a day off Tuesday because of a cold streak that saw him go 3-for-his-previous-24, Daniel Murphy came back to the lineup refreshed. He went 2-for-4 for his 45th multihit game, good for second in the league. His 154 hits are the most in the NL and third most in the majors.
Murphy is also second in the NL with a .327 average on the road.
What’s next: After an off-day Thursday, the Mets go south to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers and their major league best pitching staff. Kershaw is slated to go in the opener for the Dodgers against Jonathon Niese, but the Mets might not see him if the Dodgers go through with some rotation shuffling.