He may just be hitting .209 in 29 games since joining the Mets, but Juan Uribe has had an enormous impact on this team in more ways that one. He also has had a bit of a flair for the dramatic.
In yesterday’s 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, Uribe again found himself with another huge hit, in a game the Mets certainly had to have. In the bottom of the 6th inning with the Mets trailing 2-1, Uribe came up with two runners on and no outs. With a 1-0 count, Uribe jumped on 91 mph fastball right down the heart of the plate, and drove it over center fielder Mookie Betts and to the base of the wall. Uribe’s double scored both Daniel Murphy and Michael Cuddyer, and gave the Mets a one run lead.
Uribe finished the day 2-for-4 with 2 RBI, while making just his second start this season at second base. His last start at second came back on June 6th when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.
“Offensively, he’s very dangerous,” Collins said. “He can hit a homer, he can get a big hit.”
Earlier this past week, Uribe had worked out some at first base, but Terry Collins later ruled that out as an option by saying, “He doesn’t like to play first.”
Collins has been trying to get Uribe in the lineup as much as possible, but it’s been tough since the return of David Wright. With left-handed Wade Miley getting the start for the Red Sox Sunday, Collins was able to get him in the lineup playing second base. It’s a good thing he did.
While the hits may not be coming in bunches for Uribe, they certainly are coming at the right time. He already had a game winner under his belt in the Mets 3-2 win over the Dodgers back on July 26th, and he has collected a total of 15 RBI since joining the team in late July. Overall in 29 games with the Mets, Uribe has five home runs and six doubles.
However, what’s been even more important than his clutch hitting has been the leadership and experience that he’s brought to a ball club that’s in a pennant race for the first time since 2008. There is a lot of youth on this team, and guys like Uribe are extremely important to have around. He has been in the league since 2001, and has been in the playoffs before and knows what it takes to get there.
“His contribution on the field is something, but his major contribution is in that clubhouse,” Collins said.
“He keeps it loose, he keeps it positive. This guy’s got two rings and he’s been there, so he can tell these guys how to go about it and what’s expected when they take the field, and they listen to him. So his contribution in the clubhouse is huge.”
What strikes me the most with Uribe is that I have yet to watch him play without a smile on his face. He genuinely looks like he enjoys playing the game, which can’t always be said about players these days. He’s extremely fun to watch and you never quite know what he is going to do next.
One thing is for sure though and that’s been that Juan Uribe’s short tenure with the Mets has been a positive one, and the Mets will desperately need his bat down the stretch. You never know, he may even win the Mets a playoff game or two.