Dom Smith fooled the announcers, the analytics and the Mets’ dugout.
The fly ball to left field off his bat in the third inning Wednesday afternoon initially looked more like a sacrifice fly than a grand slam to the SNY television and WFAN radio crews calling the action off monitors 650 miles away from Cincinnati. The swing was only expected to generate a .110 batting average, according to Baseball Savant.
And yet Jesse Winker kept drifting towards the wall until he ran out of room and watched helplessly as the ball landed in the first row of seats to plate four runs in a 7-0 victory at Great American Ballpark.
“I hit it on the barrel pretty well,” Smith said. “This park is pretty friendly for hitters, so you just have to play your elements.”
Smith’s grand slam followed three straight singles that had starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman living on the edge for consistently falling behind early in counts. No sooner had analyst Ron Darling suggested Smith should be looking to jump on the first pitch than he lifted a 75 mph curveball to the opposite field.
“There’s nowhere to put me and I know he’s just trying to get ahead,” Smith said….