NEW YORK -- Jeff Francoeur and Rod Barajas hit two home runs each Friday night; as a result, Citi Field is on equal footing with its two predecessors in a rather arcane way. The Francoeur-Barajas tag-team home runs created the third instance in Mets history in which two teammates hit two home runs in the same home game.
Other elements of their joint achievement are what make it delicious piece of baseball minutia. The involved players are borderline historic in the Mets' scheme. Marv Throneberry and Frank Thomas were the first tandem, Hawk Taylor and Joe Christopher the second.
Throneberry, of course, was the poster child for the inglorious, but beloved, '61 Mets. Thomas was the franchise's first slugger (34 home runs in '62). Christopher was a regular for two seasons and as Shea Stadium's first "best" player in 1964, when he batted .300 with 16 home runs and 76 RBIs.
But beyond their identities there is this: The Elias Sport Bureau discovered that Throneberry and Thomas did their tag team bit Aug. 2, 1962, at the Polo Grounds. Two years later, on June 20, 1964, Taylor and Christopher repeated the feat.
The first instance happened in the first year of the franchise, the first year the Mets played at the Polo Grounds. The second instance occurred in the first year of Shea Stadium. And now, this: Francoeur and Barajas produced a two-man show four games into the second season at Citi Field.
Isn't it strange that the Mets went 44 years without a second 2X2 episode at Shea after Taylor and Christopher?
Barajas gets day off against Nationals
NEW YORK -- The long day stretched ahead -- what would he do with it?
Rod Barajas was off Saturday, as off as any starting catcher can be on a two-catcher team. Henry Blanco made his Mets debut, catching Oliver Perez in his first start, and Jose Reyes played shortstop for the first time since May 20, 2009. Five games into the Mets' season, all players on the Opening Day roster, plus one, have appeared in games.
Barajas caught every inning of the first four games, so his day off came at a good time -- just as his dogs began barking. Translation: His feet began hurting.
"What aches me are my feet," he said. "That's what get me after a game, or the next morning, the balls of my feet."
Barajas said he would spend the afternoon in tennis shoes and bring a pair of "just in case" spikes to the dugout. And he'd relax. "I call it my spa day," he said. "Yeah, I pamper myself. If my nails are a little long, this is my manicure day."
A day off changes Barajas' diet, for a day. "I'll find something to eat today," he said with a smirk, a suggestion that his intake might not be exclusively health food. "On days I catch, it's just a banana. Water and Gatorade during the game. Today, lots of coffee."
Lest the wrong impression be conveyed, Barajas loves his job. But it does take a toll.
"The morning after," he said, "it takes me a few steps to get going. But I have put food on the table."
This day in Mets history: April 10, 2010
The Mets opened their 1968 season in San Francisco on April 10, losing, 5-4, to the Giants at Candlestick Park despite a three-run home run and four RBIs by Ron Swoboda against Juan Marichal. The loss was the Mets' seventh straight on Opening Day; the club was doomed by Willie McCovey's home run against Tom Seaver in the seventh inning and three runs in the ninth against Seaver and losing pitcher Danny Frisella. ... Jon Matlack hit one batter and allowed four singles in a 1-0 shutout of the Expos at Shea Stadium on this date in 1976. The Mets had three hits against Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray, including successive fourth-inning doubles by Buddy Harrelson and Felix Millan. Matlack pitched 26 shutouts in 199 starts with the Mets; he averaged 3.92 shutouts per 30 starts in his Mets career, a better rate than than Seaver (3.34), Dwight Gooden (2.28) or Jerry Koosman (2.25).
Craig Swan, who would led the league in ERA (2.43) for the season, pitched his only shutout of 1978, beating the Cubs, 6-0, at Shea on home runs by Steve and Ken Henderson. ... Mookie Wilson hit two home runs -- both against Shane Rawley -- for the only time in his career in the Mets' 4-3 victory against the Phillies at Veterans Stadium on this day in 1988 ... After the Cubs scored twice in the seventh to lead, 2-1, on this date in 2002, Roberto Alomar and Mike Piazza hit home runs in successive at-bats against Jeff Fassero. The Mets won, 3-2, at Wrigley Field. ... Four years ago, the Mets won for the first time under Willie Randolph, with Pedro Martinez pitching a two-hitter against the Braves in Atlanta. The 6-1 victory, achieved despite 15 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings by Braves starter John Smoltz, followed five straight losses and initiated a six-game winning streak.
Oliver Perez provided an inadequate start in the Mets' loss to the Nationals Saturday. If not for Willy Taveras, Perez would have had a more rewarding afternoon, but the fleet-footed right fielder tripled for two runs in the second inning and singled in two more in the fourth.
Perez, who retired the side in order in the first, third and fifth, had trouble in the sixth, as well. Two runners were on base, via a walk and an error, when he was removed in favor of Ryota Igarashi with Taveras on deck. Taveras later struck out.
Perez singled to drive in a run in the second inning. It was his first RBI since June 13, 2008. ... Jeff Francoeur had two hits and has now hit safely in each of the Mets' first five games. Francoeur is batting .520 in 25 career at-bats against John Lannan. His highest average against any pitcher (minimum 15 at-bats). ... Mets catchers have driven in five runs in five games.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.