Wednesday, October 27 2021
Kevin Pillar rounds bases a ok sign

Kevin Pillar rounds bases a ok sign

The Mets are back over the .500 mark with Sunday’s 13-6 road win over the Washington Nationals, and Kevin Pillar was chief among the reasons why.

Replacing Brandon Nimmo, whom the Mets placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a hamstring strain, Pillar delivered Sunday.

“Not playing all the time, it’s easy to sit on the bench and hope you get an opportunity,” said Pillar, who went 2 for 4 with four RBI — a game-sealing grand slam in the ninth inning — as the starting CF and seven-hole hitter. “I just stayed ready for my opportunity. It’s unfortunate Nimmo went down again, but I’m prepared — I work every day as if I’m going to play every day, constantly making adjustments and really just have fun. I’m trying to pull the ball a little bit less. I’m trying to let the ball travel a little bit more.

“I’ve been getting good results, but I’m just confident in my ability. I’m just going out there, trying to help this team win. I’m valuing just trying to give the team a good at-bat every time, try to make the pitcher work. I’m hunting damage and I’m trying to make ’em work, just try to give good at-bats. And not always going to get the results, but I know when I walk up to the plate, I’m going to make the pitcher work. And if he makes a mistake, I’m going to try to make him pay.”

Through 102 games on the 2021 season, Pillar has been a solid bench option, slashing .224/.265/.442 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI.

Recently, he has stepped his game up — his grand slam Sunday was his fourth long ball and ninth hit in his past seven games (five starts).

With the Mets (69-68) making a move lately, winning seven of their past eight games as they enter Monday’s 1:05 p.m. series finale at Washington (56-80), manager Luis Rojas sees players like Pillar stepping up offensively.

“It’s a great feeling,” Rojas said. “It’s the type of things that make you believe in the consistency that this group can have, lineup wise, no matter who we’re matching up against. But seeing the guys do that today, especially after losing one of our better offensive players, it gives a lot of confidence to the entire group. I think when they saw Nimmo leave the game (Saturday), everyone was concerned at the time. But we’ve developed the ability to keep moving forward, and I think this shows it again.

“So put in the amount of runs we put in today and the quality of at-bats we put today, as a team, I think it just elevates even more the confidence, makes us believe even more that we can keep moving forward and scoring runs — because, like I said, the pitching and the defense has helped us get in this spot. But we need the offense to step up. And to see it actually happening is very pleasant.”

Source: Yahoo Sports

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