NEW YORK -- Two strikes, no problem.
Since the start of 2011, Ruben Tejada boasts a .337 on-base percentage in any two-strike situation, which entering Friday, trailed only Toronto's Jose Bautista (.340). At just 22 years old, Tejada is proving he is one of baseball's most disciplined hitters.
"He's never been a big free-swinger, he's always had discipline at the plate," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's something that he certainly has a feel for, and it goes to show the other guys that if you do fight, you do get up there and grind out an at-bat and have some plate discipline, you can get on base."
Tejada's ninth-inning at-bat in Thursday's come-from-behind win over the Phillies served as a perfect example. Against closer Jonathan Papelbon, Tejada drew a two-out walk on a full count, ultimately setting up Daniel Murphy's game-tying single in the next at-bat followed by David Wright's game-winner.
"It's a formula that you try to teach, that you've got to battle with two strikes," Collins said. "You've got to foul off some pitches that are borderline, you try to at least get the bat on them. You've got to really have knowledge of the strike zone. But to teach it and to have it get through are two different things, and to him, he bought into it and he's done it."