So, about the hotly discussed trade deadline. Perhaps, the Mets didn’t perform badly, after all.
The early signs are certainly promising. Ask the brave.
Newcomers Tyler Naquin and Daniel Vogelbach hosted Thursday night, helping the Mets begin a crucial five-game showdown at Citi Field against the Braves. 6-4 victory which expanded their supremacy in the NL East to 4 matches /₂.
Left-handed hitters, who will often play against right-handed throwers known for their crushes, scored key hits in the Mets’ ninth win in 10 games. Naquin, a former red, presented himself in the second and sixth rounds to become the first dead yard to go multiple times on his home debut. Meanwhile, Buccaneer Vogelbach once broke into the third inning of his second home run in as many days, drawing a huge crowd of Queens’s crowd of 38,693.
“We knew what they could do from a track record standpoint,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He came up a little early on why they fit our needs, and why our men and [general manager] Billy [Eppler] I worked hard to try to find the right shape.”
Eppler has received criticism for not being able on the deadline (perhaps due to his unwillingness to deal with the necessary odds) to improve the Bulls, beyond adding the Cubs Savior Mychal Givens, or landing the catcher, but he appears to have improved the offense. By landing Naquin and Vogelbach, and getting right hitter Darin Ruf off the Giants, Eppler improved the Mets’ depth and gave Showalter options, depending on the corresponding bowler.
Ruf, mashing Southern claws on a .886 OPS tone, didn’t get off the bat. Others liked it. Naquin has done safely in four of his five games as the Met, and patient, strong Vogelbach has four extra hits to base and has reached base in 18 of his 38 games with the team.
“It’s fantastic,” Naquin, whose family attended, said of his first home game as dead. “I mean, even if I’ve been playing here for four years, it’s a good night. So fun. The fans, even from warming up on the line, made me feel at home.”
Vogelbach opened his 9-5 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday with a big win. On Thursday, Naquin went twice in the same game for the first time this season, pulled his first home and went to the opposite court for the second time. Vogelbach got a curtain call after taking Kyle Wright deep in the third, after Pete Alonso’s two-round shot.
Somewhere in Citi Field, Eppler had to smile.
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