Schneider seeing ball well
Mets catcher swinging hot bat, showing rare power stroke
NEW YORK -- Brian Schneider kept his eye on the ball. That's the idea, they say. But on this occasion Friday night, the ball he watched sailed over the fence. Schneider wasn't giving it the Barry Bonds or Reggie Jackson look. He wasn't admiring his work in a way pitchers hate.
"I had to watch," Schneider said, "because I wasn't sure it was going out."
The Mets' catcher had crushed a pitch from Roy Oswalt, the last pitch, as it turned out, that didn't behave as Oswalt wanted. It carried low and far, reminiscent of a prototypical Cliff Floyd shot.
"I knew I hit it hard, but I didn't know if I hit it high enough," Schneider said. "So I had to watch ... and I had to run."
Schneider is, of course, not a home run hitter. The two-run home run he hit in the second inning Friday night was his fifth this season and the 52nd of his career. But it also was his third in 12 games -- one in Washington to left-center field, one in Pittsburgh to right and then the one that provided two-thirds of the runs in the Mets' 3-0 victory against Oswalt and the Astros.
The home run also was Schneider's sixth hit in 10 career at-bats against Oswalt, who retired the 20 batters who followed Schneider's swing.
"I knew I'd had some good swings against him," the catcher said. "I can't explain it anymore than I can explain where that home run came from. ... [Daniel] Murphy told me before the game I was 5-for-9 against him. I told him, 'That doesn't mean I want to face him.'"
Schneider has been hitting most of the pitchers recently. He was batting .325 in a 12-game sequence that preceded the Mets' game against the Astros on Saturday night.
"I haven't changed anything except the results," he said. "But that's what you want to do, get results."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.