Rene Rivera powered the Mets to victory yesterday against the Giants with a standout performance on both offense and defense. Rivera homered twice, and made two key plays behind the plate to help Rafael Montero earn his first win of the year.
“Today I just wanted to help the team win and try to do something good,” Rivera said. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)
Rivera crushed a fastball from Giants’ lefty Matt Moore in the second inning, and then blasted a hanging breaking ball off Moore again in the fourth inning to add another run.
“I made some pretty big mistakes to Rene right there,” Moore said. “I paid for a couple balls that were up.” (Anthony DiComo and Chris Haft, MLB.com)
Defensively, Rivera made a nice sliding catch on a foul ball behind home plate in the first inning. He then threw out Hunter Pence trying to steal second base in the third inning, which helped Montero escape a jam with runners on the corners.
Known mostly for his defense, Rivera hasn’t been an easy out and has shown flashes of power this year. Rivera is now batting .268 on with five homeruns and a .423 slugging percentage 131 plate appearances.
Since joining the Mets in 2016, the 33 year old has been a veteran leader in the clubhouse and a mentor to young pitchers like Montero and Noah Syndergaard.
Terry Collins and the Mets have to be pleased production he has gotten from their backup catcher. Collins hopes Rivera’s performance yesterday will be the start of a new hot streak.
“Big game for him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He was swinging so well early and has kind of run into a little bit of a slow streak. Today I hope gets him back.”