PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — The New York Mets do not have a game-ending home run this season. And there hasn’t been a single Met in 2017 to post a hitting streak exceeding 11 games.
Tim Tebow has done both.
If calling up the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback to the Florida State League was a stunt — and we now know it was done with at least some promotional value in mind — then it’s a stunt that paid dividends. Tebow had another eventful week for the Single-A St. Lucie Mets, and the home run he hit to win a game on Thursday showed he still has a flair for drama.
Tebow had a 12-game hitting streak — exactly one hit in each of those games — end when he went 0 for 4 at Fort Myers on Saturday.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said last week that he doesn’t anticipate Tebow playing in New York after rosters expand in September, although the club is well out of contention in the NL East and would need to leapfrog several teams to get into the mix for even the second of the two wild-card spots.
A look at how Tebow has fared this week and this season:
HIGHLIGHTS: Tebow hit his first game-ending home run in more than 12 years — he connected on one in a 2005 playoff game during his junior year of high school — when he went the opposite way to give St. Lucie a 5-4 win in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Daytona. His first professional triple the next night pushed his hitting streak to 12 games.
AT THE PLATE: Tebow batted 4 for 20 (.200) this week with a home run, one RBI, three runs scored, one walk and five strikeouts.
ON THE SEASON: Counting his time in Columbia of the South Atlantic League, Tebow is 64 for 274 (.234) with six home runs, 34 RBIs, 31 walks and 80 strikeouts. In 19 games with St. Lucie, he’s hitting .283 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. He’s also struck out just 11 times, as opposed to 69 times in 64 games in Columbia.
IN THE FIELD: Tebow didn’t do much with the glove this week. He was in the lineup at DH for the first four games of the week, played left field on Saturday in Fort Myers — without anything of note happening — then was back at DH on Sunday.
THE SPECTACLE: When St. Lucie goes to Kissimmee, Florida for a series this weekend against the Florida Fire Frogs, they’re simply being called “Tebow tickets.” The box office there has been open extended hours for the past several days in anticipation of Tebow’s looming visit, which is probably a new thing for that Atlanta affiliate. The Fire Frogs’ average attendance this season: 796.
WHAT’S NEXT: Tebow and the Mets play an 11:05 a.m. game in Fort Myers on Monday, then start a three-game homestand with Jupiter on Tuesday. From there, it’s back on the road Friday to start the four-game series at Florida.