With Yoenis Cespedes still nursing a sore right quad, Juan Lagares stepped in for the team’s slugger. For a night, he let the Mets forget about Cespedes’ presence in the lineup.
Lagares was 1-or-2 at the plate last night with a solo shot that put the Mets up by a score 1-0 in the third inning. He walked twice, and stole a base to manufacture another run for the team. The stolen base was his second of the season.
“I know I can run a little bit,” Lagares said. “Every time I have a chance, I want to take advantage of it.” (NY Post)
The steal could not have come at a better time for the team as in the previous inning, the Phillies rallied against Bartolo Colon, getting within one run. With the steal, the Mets were able to do something they have not done much of this season, manufacture a run.
With one out and Lagares now on third, Jose Reyes hit a grounder to short in which Lagares broke right away on and scored. The run gave the Mets the 5-3 lead that would stave off the Phillies. The close play seemed to kill any momentum Philadelphia had going after chasing Colon in the sixth.
“I just went with everything I have,” Lagares said. “I knew it was going to be a tough play, but I got a good jump and I got it.”
In sparse play this season, Lagares has performed quite well, hitting to a .268/.317/.420 slash. He has three homers and seven RBI to go along with 12 runs. Manager, Terry Collins loves what he has seen from his fourth outfielder this season.
“Lagares has done a nice job when he has been in there,” Collins said. “Right now, with Cespedes’ leg, we’ve got to take a look at seeing if Juan should get some more playing time.”
For the time being, the spot is Lagares’ until Cespedes is able to come back. When given any opportunity this year it seems as though Lagares has shined, trying to prove yet again that he is worthy of a starting job on this team.