After a walk-off single on Friday night’s win to open the series and a home run in the sixth inning to help the Mets complete the three-game sweep of the Cleveland Guardians with a win Sunday night, things are heading in the right direction for Francisco Lindor.
“I’ve been able to put good swings on the baseball,” Lindor said after the second game of the doubleheader Sunday.
“Before I was swinging and my swing wasn’t there,” he added. “I swung at too many bad pitches, I wasn’t controlling the at-bats. This week, little by little, it’s coming. It’s coming. Baseball is a long journey. You just gotta stay the course and continue to walk the line .”
While the shortstop’s home run came on a powerful swing – driving the ball 100.1mph off the bat for a 404-foot opposite-field homer to left-center – his other big hit came on a half swing.
With Starling Marte on first pinch-running for Francisco Alvarez who singled to lead off the eighth, Lindor’s ‘excuse me’ knock (79.7mph off the bat with a .190 expected batting average) snuck past the Cleveland shortstop Gabriel Arias who was breaking to cover second base with Marte running on the pitch.
“It was a good pitch to hit, but Marte took it off,” Lindor said. “I was just on my way to swing and felt him running and was trying to stop my swing and it went through.”
Lindor expected Marte to be in motion so he “wasn’t a distraction,” but when he saw Marte break he wanted to give him the chance to swipe the bag. “I was just gonna let him do his job, and my swing worked out that I hit the ball.”
The better-be-lucky-than-good base hit put runners on the corners with one out to set up Jeff McNeil’s game-winning sacrifice fly.
“It was in the right spot,” the shortstop added.
After a 5-11 start to the month of May, the Mets have now won five straight, matching their longest winning streak of the season, and are back to two games above .500.
“We stuck together,” Lindor said. “We are on a high right now we just gotta try and continue to stay on the high. Celebrate each other’s success and then turn the page and focus on the Cubs. As soon as we land in Chicago, focus on the Cubs.”
And despite the rough stretch, Lindor said “the confidence was always there” and that it’s fun to see the team’s determination “come to fruition.”
“We’ve been trying, we’ve been trying but we haven’t got it done. Then all the sudden boom, boom we get it done,” he said. “Whenever you see the success of the work you put in, you see the results of the work you put in, it’s always fun and it feels good.”