Mets: The real Francisco Lindor is showing up, and he is taking over games

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.”

New York Yankees Recap: Francisco Lindor homers three times in Mets win over the Yankees

Last night at Citi Field the Queens, New York, the New York Yankees met up with the New York Mets in the rubber game of a three-game set. The Yankees took a bashing in game one 10-3, but the Yankees bounced back in game two with an 8-7 win, but taking the series was not meant to be; the Yankees lost last night 7-6.

With no one to start last night’s game, the Yankees called up Clarke Schmidt to start the game. Schmidt, not being fully stretched out after a season-long injury. He gave the Yankees more than they could have hoped for; he threw 90 pitches into the fifth inning, giving up two earned runs. But he was victimized by errors causing him to give up 5 runs.

The game started well for the Yankees, who scored 2 runs in the first inning. After DJ LeMahieu doubled to start the game, Giancarlo Stanton hit one that bounced off the centerfield wall scoring LeMahieu. Then, with Anthony Rizzo already on base Joey Gallo got a sac fly scoring Rizzo. Mets got one back in the bottom of the frame.

The Yankees were scoreless in the second. In the bottom, Francisco Lindor hit a long three-run homer to center for his first homer of the night. With the game remaining at 4-2, Mets in the fifth inning. The Mets picked up another run, but that’s when things got really interesting.

The New York Yankees got back into the game in the sixth when Gleyber Torres hit a two-run homer. Sanchez walked. Urshela stuck out. Luke Voit came in pinch-hitting and struck out swinging. At the bottom, Villar faced new pitcher Wandy Peralta and flew out to third. Lindor homered for his second home run of the game. Conforto lined out. Alonso lined out to Stanton in left. Mets 6 Yankees 4.

The seventh inning was led off by LeMahieu, who singled to right-center. Rizzo faced new pitcher Brad Hand and ground out, but LeMahieu went to second. Gardner struck out. Stanton hit a long ball into the second deck of the left-field stands tying up the game. The game was halted as it appeared Lindor had something to say to Stanton as he rounded the bases and both dugouts emptied. Things cooled off, and Gallo struck out swinging, but the Yankees tied it up at 6. At the bottom, McNeil struck out. Pillar flew out to Gallo in right. McCann walked, Dominic Smith, pinch-hitting struck out swinging. New York Yankees 6 Mets 6.

The eighth inning was led off by Gleyber Torres, who struck out on a foul tip. Sanchez struck out looking. Urshela flew out to the warning track in right. At the bottom, Villar against Chad Green popped out to short. Lindor hit his third homer of the game to give the Mets again the lead. Conforto out on strikes. Alonso popped out to the infield with Rizzo crashing to the ground. Mets 7 Yankees 6.

Rougie Odor led off for the Yankees in the top of the ninth and struck out swinging. LeMahieu singled to center. Tyler Wade was pinch-running for LeMahieu. Rizzo walked. Gardner struck out. Stanton, with two on and two outs and the game on the line, a pitch got away, moving the runners up. Stanton popped out to left to end the game. The final score was the New York Mets 7 and the Yankees 6. The winning pitcher was Seth Lugo, and the loser was Chad Green, with the save going to Edwin Diaz.

Francisco Lindor had his first three-homer game driving in 5 of the Mets runs.

 

The Mets are a mess: Players and fans go to silent war over constant booing and poor results

The New York Mets keep making headlines for the wrong reasons. During Sunday’s victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Kevin Pillar used a thumbs down celebration every time they made a good play.

Most people thought, at first, that it was a joke, like the 2017 Yankees. But after the game, Baez talked to the media and made a baffling revelation: “[It’s] to let [fans] know when we don’t have success we are going to get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success.”

Even if it’s understandable that players are frustrated by the lack of results and by hearing constant boos from their own fans, it’s certainly surprising that they decided to start a silent war with Mets’ fans. It’s not an ideal situation, especially for Lindor, who will be in New York for at least 10 more years unless he is traded.

The Mets are 8-19 in August and relinquished the first place of the NL East division, one that they held for months, a few weeks ago. They are currently in a very delicate situation, and making the playoffs is a pipe dream at this point.

The Mets released a controversial statement

Mets’ president Sandy Alderson released a statement on Sunday night condemning the thumbs down sign.

Here is his message:

“In a post-game press conference today, Javy Baez stated that his “thumbs down” gesture during the game was a message to fans who recently have booed him and other players for poor performance. These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right.

“The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.

“Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities.”

Tensions are boiling in New York.

FOCO Releasing Francisco Lindor Mets Black Jersey Bobblehead

The New York Mets have another black jersey Friday night coming up, and FOCO has something for fans to take part in the new tradition. Francisco Lindor joins Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom as the latest Met to get his own Black Jersey Bobblehead.

Only 321 pieces of the terrific bobblehead are available, and it goes for $60 on the FOCO website. Lindor is on the spinning base as he dons the black uniform with his trademark, sparkling smile. To go along with his uniqueness, he also has his highlights and is wearing black stirrups. Make sure to move quickly on the bobbleheads before they sell out!

Mets: Lindor performing baseball activities, still unsure about return date

The sliding New York Mets sure could use their best position player, Francisco Lindor, back in the lineup as soon as possible. He has been out for a few weeks now since suffering a grade 2 oblique strain, an injury that needs to heal properly, otherwise the player can easily re-aggravate it.

The superstar shortstop talked with the media on Saturday, a day after the Mets lost the first place in the NL East by virtue of losing Friday’s game against the Phillies. New York had held on the top spot for 90 days.

In his conversation with reporters, he said he is currently feeling good and “can’t complain”, but he added that he didn’t have enough information about his potential return date given the complexity of the injury.

Mets’ general manager Zack Scott has previously stated that a mid-to-late August return could be realistic.

“I ain’t gonna give you guys much,” Lindor said, addressing reporters, according to SNY. “I don’t know, I really don’t know. I’m sorry, I really don’t know.”

The Mets’ shortstop is progressing slowly

The Mets’ star infielder, signed to a 10-year, $341 million extension the day before the season started, has taken some dry swings and some swings off a tee, and he was also spotted doing some running before the game.

“It sucks. I wanna be there, I wanna help them out,” he said, speaking about his teammates. “We’re not getting the results we wanna get. I would love to be with them. I would love to struggle with them.”

Mets manager Luis Rojas added that Lindor is taking ground balls and playing catch, and testing his oblique in “live action.”

He also said, however, that the shortstop is still considered week-to-week, so a late August return seems more realistic at this point. Next for him would be taking batting practice.

It looks like the Mets’ infielder will be out for at least a couple more weeks.

Mets: Javier Baez ‘would like to play with Francisco Lindor’

Chicago Cubs’ shortstop Javier Baez is a free agent at the end of the season, so there is a non-zero chance he gets traded before Friday’s deadline if the Cubs want to get something in return rather than losing him for nothing. But it appears he is eager to test the market, and he would definitely consider playing for the New York Mets according to his recent comments.

“If I go to the free agency, I would like to play with Francisco Lindor,” Baez said during an interview with Mega 106.9 FM (link to SNY article here). “I loved playing with him in the World (Baseball) Classic. It is the only option I would take to play second base if it is to play with him, otherwise I stay playing at shortstop.”

Baez is a fantastic defensive shortstop who has already won a Gold Glove last year. He was also worth 31 DRS (defensive runs saved) at the position in 2019. He could have a strong market at short, so the fact that he would sacrifice his preferred spot on the diamond to play with his friend is noteworthy. The Mets have some infield depth, but are surely taking notice of his comments.

What will the Mets do at the deadline?

The Mets remain focused on bringing an additional arm to their roster before Friday’s deadline, but they are also reportedly interested in Kris Bryant. Could they take the discount and pay a little more to get Baez too? It seems unlikely, as they haven’t been connected to Baez, but anything can happen.

Whether he is acquired by the Mets via trade or signed as a free agent after the season (a much more likely scenario), having a double play combo of Lindor and Baez would be really something, as both men are elite with the glove.

The Mets would have to find new positions for Jeff McNeil and/or JD Davis, plus they have several infield prospects, most notably Ronny Mauricio, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos, knocking on the door.

Baez is batting .245/.289/.483 with 22 homers in 90 games for the Cubs this campaign.

Mets: Star infielder gets hurt at the worst possible time

In the middle of what is shaping up to be a thrilling race for the first place in the NL East from this point until the end of the season, the New York Mets got some very bad news on the injury front: Francisco Lindor, their star shortstop, went down with an oblique strain on Friday night and was placed on the 10-day injured list.

The Mets are currently first in the NL East with a 47-41 record, but they are only three games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies and four ahead of the Atlanta Braves. They need to get healthier, not more injuries piling up.

The official diagnosis for the infielder is a Grade 2 right oblique strain. Travis Blakenhorn was called up by the Mets in a corresponding move.

Lindor had to exit Friday’s night game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with what was deemed at the time as right side soreness. It’s still not clear how long he will be sidelined, but since it is a Grade 2 oblique strain, it could be up to 4-6 weeks.

The Mets’ shortstop is week-to-week

Lindor told reporters on Saturday that he is “week-to-week” as opposed to “day-to-day”. The Mets will need to be without one of their best players for a while.

It is the first significant injury since he was traded to the Mets and put pen to paper a $341 million, 10-year contract extension a day before the regular season started.

In fact, the injury is such an untimely hit to the Mets’ aspirations: with the activation of third baseman JD Davis, the team finally had its starting infield healthy.

The 2021 season hasn’t been all that kind for Lindor, who is hitting .228 with 49 runs, 11 homers, 36 RBI, eight steals and a .702 OPS. He has had his struggles, but had been improving since June.

Now, his season will take a pause.

Mets: After some ugly early struggles, Francisco Lindor is finally playing like himself

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The start of the 2021 season was nightmarish for New York Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor. Signed to a $341 million contract extension, he had the expectations of a highly demanding fanbase on his shoulder, and as a newcomer still getting to know the city, the team, and the fans, it proved, for a couple of months, too much to handle.

Lindor struggled mightly to open the season. Just a few days ago, his batting average was below the Mendoza line and he was struggling to generate any power. He kept hitting the ball hard and taking his walks, but a problem with ground balls affected him for weeks.

On May 5, the Mets’ star was batting .157 with a .276 on-base percentage and just two extra-base hits. His slugging percentage was .202. He had only on homer and was on an 0-for-26 slump, arguably the worst of his career.

The Mets are pleased with his progress

Thankfully for the Mets, he has come a long way since then, and while his batting average currently sits at .218, he now looks like vintage Francisco Lindor.

According to MLB.com, Lindor has a .280/.342/.480 line in his last 26 games, with 11 extra-base hits, four home runs, and 10 RBI for the Mets. That’s more like it, and that’s what the Mets paid for before the start of the campaign.

“I’m very encouraged,” Lindor said about his recent performance. “I feel good. I finally have some success on my side. Hopefully, I continue this to help the team win.”

Then he told the Mets’ official site, “And when I get home, maybe I don’t get booed.”

His struggles were so bad that he was repeatedly booed at home for weeks. But that should be a thing of the past.

As long as Lindor keeps performing, the Mets will have every reason to feel good about the long-term investment they made.

Snell Makes It Look Easy in Padres 2-0 Win Over Mets

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets have never done well against San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell, and the trend continued in their 2-0 loss. Snell had everything going against the Mets and held them hitless for the first six innings of the game, and worked out of a massive jam in the seventh inning.

The seventh inning was the one that settled the game with the score still 1-0. Francisco Lindor broke up the no-no with a leadoff single and advanced to third with an error from left fielder Tommy Pham. Snell rose to the occasion by striking out James McCann, getting Pete Alonso to pop out in a nine-pitch at-bat, and striking out Brandon Drury to end the inning. He finished the outing with seven one-hit innings with ten strikeouts and brought his ERA below five.

Wil Myers double and Jurickson Profar‘s hit by pitch in the bottom half resulted in a first and second no-out situation for the Padres. Drew Smith ended up turning a bunt into a 1-5-3 double play but ended up walking Tucupita Marcano to load the bases. Smith had Marcano stuck out on a check-swing, but umpires Quinn Wolcott and Nick Mahrley were the only two people in the stadium who thought he did not swing.

Find The Zone

Jeurys Familia tried to escape the jam but walked two in a row to give the Padres their second run. Familia got Jake Cronenworth to fly out to end the inning but the damage had already been done. Within the seventh the momentum swung from the Padres to the Mets then back to the Padres at the end of the inning.

In the ninth, the Mets attempted another comeback against Padres closer Mark Melancon. Lindor and Alonso singled to create a two-out opportunity for Drury but he struck out for the fourth time on the night. During the inning Quinn Wolcott made another of many horrible calls on McCann’s strikeout. Wolcott ejected McCann and manager Luis Rojas who got their money’s worth after he was inconsistent for both teams.

Injuries Catching Up

The replacement players in the Mets lineup went just 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts. Against bad teams the Mets have gotten away with “B” and “C” lineups but it will not work against winning teams like the Padres. The loss drops the Mets to 2-12 against teams over .500 and many of the losses are due to the lack of offense.

Joey Lucchesi put together a third straight solid outing and this one came against his former team. Lucchesi pitched 4.2 innings and allowed one run which came on Manny Machado’s first inning homer. With the recent news to Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard, it looks like Lucchesi will remain in the rotation in the long run. If Lucchesi can find consistent success we should see him surpass the 80+ pitch threshold to go deeper in games.

After facing two aces to start the series, the Mets roll out their own in Jacob deGrom for Saturday’s game. He faces off against Joe Musgrove who has a no-hitter this year and an ERA just over two. For the third straight night, it will be a 10:10 p.m. ET start from Petco Park.

Mets Game Preview: (6/3/21) @ San Diego Padres (34-23)

The New York Mets take on the varsity of their west coast trip as they face the San Diego Padres. This is the first of seven games between both teams that will be played within the next 11 days. The first pitch for the Mets’ toughest series of the season is set for 10:10 p.m. ET from Petco Park.

The Mets took two out of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but it came tougher than expected. After an easy victory in game one, the next two games were each decided by a run. Francisco Lindor has gotten his bat going over the last five games by going 9-for-23 and has gotten back to driving the ball to all fields. Even if Fernando Tatis Jr. is not playing, there will be plenty of comparisons between the two high-paid shortstops.

The Padres are in the midst of a four-game losing streak which includes a three-game sweep to the Chicago Cubs. Tatis Jr. also suffered an oblique injury, but it does not seem to be anything serious. He is not likely to play during tonight’s game, but we should expect to see him back by the third or fourth game. Even without Tatis Jr., there is plenty of big bats in the Padres lineup. Jake Cronenworth is one of the best they have, hitting .282 with a team-leading 60 hits.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker takes the mound after a terrific start off the IL. He hurled five shutout innings with just two hits allowed and eight strikeouts. Walker has become the steal of the offseason during the first couple of months of the season. His ERA is a season-low 1.84, which is fifth in all of baseball.

Yu Darvish is the Padres starter and looks to bounce back from a rare bad start. He allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings against the Houston Astros, and it pushed his ERA over two. On the year, Darvish has a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts and has 79 strikeouts.

Matchups To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Manny Machado: 2-for-12 (.167), Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Yu Darvish vs. Francisco Lindor: 4-for-7 (.571), Double, 2 Walks