Since he’s gotten healthy, Francisco Lindor is starting to display the offensive punch that he’s been known for his entire career. Now the Atlanta Braves will try to figure out a way to slow him down.
Lindor will be back in the No. 2 hole on Tuesday when the visiting Mets play the second game of their three-game set against the Braves. The veteran shortstop had two hits, including a three-run homer, in helping New York to a 10-4 win over Atlanta in the series opener on Monday.
Lindor is riding an eight-game hitting streak, batting .400 (14-for-35) with nine runs, three doubles, one homer, eight RBIs and one walk during that stretch. Over his last 54 games, Lindor is batting .309 (63-for-204) with 43 runs, 11 doubles, 11 home runs and 34 RBIs.
“One thing about Francisco Lindor, since the day that he got here, he’s a guy that takes a lot of pride in playing,” New York manager Buck Showalter said just before Lindor began his hitting streak. “A lot of guys take that (big contract) and use it as a reason to go in the other direction. You don’t have to worry about that with him. You’re going to get everything he’s got the whole time that he’s a member of this organization.”
The surging Mets will send right-hander Tylor Megill (7-6, 5.53 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday to face right-hander Bryce Elder (9-4, 3.46).
Megill earned a win in his most recent start last Wednesday against Pittsburgh, allowing two runs over five innings with five hits, four walks and five strikeouts.
“There is still another level that we have seen that he can get to,” Showalter said of Megill. “He was fortunate to get through five (innings) with all the traffic and the walks. He’s better than that.”
In his last outing against Atlanta on Aug. 11, Megill gave up six runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-0 Atlanta win. He is 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Braves.
Elder pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed only one hit in his last start last Tuesday against the New York Yankees. That stopped a two-game slide that had seen him allow 12 runs (10 earned) in 9 1/3 combined innings.
“I told him, ‘You look like your old self again,'” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Good for him to fight through things and have a game like that.”
Elder said, “When you through a couple of good innings and then throw a couple of bad innings, I don’t want to say it affects my confidence. It creates a little doubt at times. I said, ‘Forget it, I’m just going back to just making one pitch at a time. Whatever the result is, I can live with it, if I’m focused on one pitch at a time.'”
It will be Elder’s first chance to face the Mets since the infamous outing on June 6. Elder allowed a long homer to Pete Alonso, who was shown on television taunting Elder to “throw it again.” The Braves ended up winning that game 6-4.
Alonso is coming in hot. He had two hits and an RBI on Monday and has four home runs and seven RBIs in his last six games. His 39 homers and 95 RBIs both rank second in the National League.
—Field Level Media
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