Sport

Mets’ Francisco Lindor hopes big game is a sign of things to come

PORT ST. LUCIE — On a day when two Mets aces were due more than $75 million this season, her $341 million shortstop offered a glimpse of how the team’s hitting can match its initial pitching.

If Francisco Lindor brings this sizzling slugger into the regular season, the Mets offense could be a stunner. That was of course also the hope last year at this time.

Lindor enjoyed the best game of his brief Grapefruit League, homers twice — first from the left, then from the right — to assist Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in the Mets’ 7-3 win over the Cardinals at Clover Park.

Finishing a 3-on-4 Sunday afternoon in his fifth exhibition game, Lindor’s 1,444 OPS represented the third-best mark in major league spring training, a statistic that’s meaningless unless carried over to the regular season.

When asked about the key to keeping his racquet hot into April, Lindor said: “I don’t know. We will see.”

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Francisco Lindor scored twice on Sunday.
Corey SIPKIN
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Francisco Lindor celebrates his home run on Sunday.
Corey SIPKIN

Last year, the Mets saw their precious takeover of Cleveland batted .370 with four homers through 17 spring games, only to immediately go cold when the games got important. Battling .182 in March and April of last season, he began a largely disappointing first season after signing a 10-year extension with the Mets.

After a long offseason and in a team with more star power that could take away some of its luster, Lindor is hoping for a season of recovery to come.

“I’m very balanced right now,” said Lindor, who shot a homer to the right by Daniel Hudson and smashed a man-of-doubt to the left against top contender Matthew Liberatore. “I feel like I can get to a point and put my body in a good hitting position.”

That sentiment was present throughout the Mets lineup for the first time this spring. Pete Alonso contributed a few hits including a double, Tomas Nido homered and Starling Marte doubled on his spring debut.

The Mets’ high-octane arms have perhaps the highest ceiling of any team in baseball, and their defense and bullpen project no weaknesses. With an above-average offense, the path to the postseason would be easy to spot.

It’s possible that nobody is more important to the Mets peaking than Lindor, who was an All-Star for four straight years before dips in the truncated 2020 campaign and last season. Getting your own racquet going from both sides of the plate is a good start.

“It’s a good offense,” said Lindor, who has four extra base hits in 17 at-bats in the spring. “We’re going to do some damage if we stay sane and keep to ourselves. It will be fun.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/27/mets-francisco-lindor-hopes-big-game-is-sign-of-things-to-come/ Mets’ Francisco Lindor hopes big game is a sign of things to come

JOE HERNANDEZ

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