During Sunday’s game against the New York Mets and the Yankees, we saw a rivalry, a spark that had been missing for a few years between the crosstown rivals. The Subway Series is a thing again, and the Mets took this weekend’s edition two games to one thanks, in large part, to the $341 million man: Francisco Lindor.
The Mets traded for him during the offseason and proceeded to extend him to a record-breaking 10-year, $341 million deal the day before the regular season started. He started slowly, and by May, he was getting booed because of his poor performance.
As he hit three home runs into the New York night on Sunday, the last one to provide the winning run in the 7-6 affair, we got confirmation that the Mets are finally enjoying the benefits of their huge investment.
“This is the Francisco we all expect,” manager Luis Rojas said. “This is the Francisco that Mets fans are going to get for years.”
“I don’t think Mets fans forget things,” Lindor added, “but it definitely probably helped them to start to believe in me a little bit more.”
An early-season spat with teammate Jeff McNeil over rats and raccoons, a forgettable slump, an untimely oblique injury, and a little conflict with fans over booing had marked Lindor’s first season with the Mets. But his performance is finally doing most of the talking.
The Mets are finally reaping the benefits of their investment
Lindor has been back to his former self for a while, but Sunday’s three home runs certainly didn’t hurt his numbers.
The Mets’ shortstop has a .857 OPS since May 29 (.260/.346/.511, 14 home runs, and a 133 wRC+ in 257 PA.) Per Mets’ blogger Tim Ryder, it equates to a 38-homer pace over a full season with an OPS .003 higher than his career-best .854 in 2019.
Rojas said to MLB.com on Sunday that it was “probably his best game of the year,” while Lindor’s longtime teammate in Cleveland, Carlos Carrasco, went even further and stated that it was one of the best games of his career.
“I’ve been booed for a very long time, so it felt good,” Lindor said. “How long I’ve been waiting for that? I don’t know. Every night when we’ve been down by one in the ninth, and I’m supposed to tie it or win the game for the team. Yeah, we all want that moment, because we do it for the fans and we do it for the organization.”