Mets treat Jay Bruce like king on his two-home run night

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/mets-treat-jay-bruce-k
BYJohn Healy
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 1:41 AM
"I don't believe in must-win games in April but it felt good to get this one tonight," Jay Bruce said.

Just call Jay Bruce the King of Queens.

The Mets right fielder was at his locker with a glowing smile and wearing a blue and orange robe with a crown on his head after his two home run, five-RBI performance led the team to a 5-4 win over the Phillies on Wednesday, snapping a four-game losing streak.

“I don’t believe in must-win games in April but it felt good to get this one tonight,” Bruce said. “We’re going to look to build off that.”

The Mets entered the game desperate for offense, scoring no more than two runs in three of their previous four games, and it wasn’t looking any better for much of Wednesday.

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Phillies starter Vince Velasquez was silencing the Mets’ bats, holding them to one hit (also to Bruce) through the first 5.2 innings before running into some trouble.

Asdrubal Cabrera lined a single into center field and Yoenis Cespedes worked a walk to bring up Bruce, who pounced on a changeup to send it over the right field wall to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

Velasquez wasn’t willing to give Bruce much credit, though.

“Bruce is just a mistake hitter,” he said after the game. “You make one mistake and he can turn it around.”

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Apparently, the Phillies made two mistakes.

"I don't believe in must-win games in April but it felt good to get this one tonight," Jay Bruce said.

(@Mets/Twitter)

After Philadelphia managed to tie the game in the eighth, Bruce struck again in the bottom half of the inning, blasting a two-run home run in nearly the same spot off Edubray Ramos to give the Mets a 5-3 lead and earning himself a curtain call.

“It sounds so cliché but I’m just playing baseball, man,” said Bruce. “Individually I don’t really take too much time to think about what I’m doing or my success or anything during the season…It was good to be a huge part of that tonight and get a win for us coming off a tough skid.”

Bruce has been on a tear to start the season, hitting .309 with six home runs and 14 RBI.

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It’s a long way from where he was last season after the Mets acquired him from the Reds at the trade deadline.

Bruce was a disappointment, hitting a meager .219 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 50 games.

His lackluster performance led to his name being brought up in trade rumors during the offseason so the Mets could make room for Michael Conforto, but they couldn’t find any takers.

“We talked about it in spring training and he said it was the worst month of his entire career,” manager Terry Collins said of Bruce. “He said, ‘I’m the player you traded for’ and he is.”

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And now he’s the King of Queens, at least for this day.  

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