PHOENIX -- For Eric Young, the difference between the first week of this season and everything since has been staggering.
Beginning the year in an 0-for-15 slump with eight strikeouts, Young beat out an infield single in the seventh inning of an April 5 game against the Reds to increase his batting average above .000 for the first time. On his way to first base, something apparently clicked; Young entered Wednesday's play batting .361 with 11 runs scored, seven stolen bases and five walks in 38 plate appearances since.
"It was just a matter of getting those swings in, getting my feet under me," Young said. "The more repetition you get, the better you're going to get at something, so I'll keep going. We've still got a lot of games to go, but I'm definitely feeling comfortable now."
For the Mets, Young's hot streak has come at a most opportune time. With Chris Young, Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson all nursing injuries, Young has batted leadoff every day for the Mets instead of regularly sitting on the bench. And he will continue to do so for as long as Lagares remains on the disabled list with a strained right calf.