Monday, October 25 2021
Baez high fives teammates in dugout in Miami road greys

Baez high fives teammates in dugout in Miami road greys

While Javier Baez was on the injured list, the Mets scored just 3.45 runs per game and hit .233 with a .641 OPS as a team – they went 3-8 in that stretch.

In his first game back, they dropped seven.

Over the course of an entire season, one player’s presence in a nine-man lineup won’t play huge dividends, but Baez’s presence was certainly felt on Sunday in the Mets’ 7-2 victory over the red-hot Dodgers.

Baez doubled in a run in his first at-bat since Aug. 10 that gave the Mets an early lead they never looked back from. He also had another exciting slide into second base on another double, and was hit by a pitch.

“From the first inning, seeing a hard hit like that in the first inning, we’ve had a couple of guys that have done it, but just to see a new face in the lineup that hasn’t been there in 10 days or so, comes in and whacks that ball, hits that double, and then, immediately, that’s something that the team can feed off of,” manager Luis Rojas told reporters after the win. “And his energy on the field, you saw the slide at second base. Just hustle baseball. Just some of the good things I think that you can transmit to the other players. I thought that was nice to see in the first inning. That kind of set the tone for us. … I think Javy’s presence immediately impacts our offense.”

Not only does he have the ability to bash a 400-foot home run at any time, but the energy he brings is arguably unmatched throughout the major leagues.

“Even when I was out, I was trying to bring my energy and bring my happiness to the team, to the dugout,” Baez said. “I know we’ve been going through a good struggle right now. We understand that we’re playing really good teams. I think we got the talent to be up there and I hope it comes back to us pretty soon.”

“He’s a gamechanger. He’s a guy that brings a lot of fear to opposing pitchers when he steps in the box. He’s someone who can make something magical happen at any moment. He’s someone you love to have in the lineup each and every day,” added Marcus Stroman.

Following Baez’s RBI double, the Mets scored two more runs in the first. It was just the fifth time the Mets had scored three runs in the first all season long.

“We haven’t [scored early and often] lately,” Rojas said. “To see that, there was more of a relief from an offensive standpoint by our guys. And also from the pitching side. Our starters, our relievers feel like they’re always pitching in a one-run game. It got to that point later, but it’s so much. You can concentrate. Pitchers not trying to be as quick as they want to be in a one-run game when they have a Trea Turner at first base, because they know that’s the tying run. But if the tying run’s in the hole, there’s two outs, one out, you’re gonna go ahead and attack the hitter and be more focused on that. It really impacts the game to have a little bit of separation, so yeah, that first inning helped a lot.”

It’s been a rough August – the Mets are 6-15 since the calendar flipped. Their nightmare of a roadtrip is almost over – they have a three-game series with the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants starting on Tuesday.

But with Baez back, and Francisco Lindor very close, Rojas thinks Sunday’s win can be the U-turn the Mets desperately need.

“All wins are huge. This is big,” Rojas said. “We have a day off where we can rest, we have our bullpen to rest, it’s been used a lot lately, we have some guys that weren’t available today. So it’s a huge win. We go, get the day off, and then we start another tough series against the Giants. Hopefully this game helps us carry some momentum. We’re gonna keep plugging away and we’re gonna keep it going on Tuesday.”

Source: Yahoo Sports

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