Optimism and excitement run rampant during the early portions of a Major League Baseball season.
It was no different in New York with the Mets preparing to make a serious World Series push and the Yankees introducing a new crop of young talent.
Each side possessed a monster bat that would be the central figure of the offense. The Mets rolled out newly re-signed Yoenis Cespedes, who has made his desire for an MVP award clear, while Gary Sanchez was expected to build off a monster 2016 debut in the Bronx.
Cespedes has lived up to the billing so far with six home runs in his first 15 games, including three in a single night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sanchez though has been sidelined since the fifth game of the season due to a right biceps strain and will be gone until at least mid-May.
But both New York teams have received a power surge from elsewhere within their respective rosters and they both struck last night.
For the Yankees, it’s been Aaron Judge who has picked up the slack in Sanchez’s absence.
From April 9-12, he hit home runs in three-consecutive games and has added two more in the last three nights against the Chicago White Sox.
He flexed his muscles during Wednesday’s 9-1 win with a mammoth shot that could very well have been one of the hardest-hit long balls ever, leaving his bat at 115.5 miles per hour.
In Flushing, Jay Bruce has made most Mets fans forget that they ever wanted to deal him during the offseason after his sluggish start in orange and blue last summer.
He singlehandedly willed the Mets to a 5-4 win over the Phillies on Wednesday night, launching two home runs and driving in all five of New York’s runs.
Both bombs gave the Mets the lead, including a two-run shot in the eighth that put them ahead for good.
Bruce’s start to the 2017 season has been a revelation to Mets fans after seeing him struggle mightily after he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds during the August trade deadline.
Jay Bruce stats split: 2016 vs. 2017
2016: 50 games, .219 BA, .294 OBP, 8 HR, 19 RBI
2017: 14 games, .309 BA, .387 OBP, 6 HR, 14 RBI