DENVER — James McCann was signed by the Mets in part because of the big arm he possesses behind the plate.
That arm unleashed a strike to Francisco Lindor with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday at Coors Field. Trevor Story, attempting to steal second base, was out and the Mets (following a replay review that confirmed the call) departed with a 2-1 victory over the Rockies.
“That was on the money, huh?” manager Luis Rojas said, referring to McCann’s throw. “And also the tag from Lindor to finish it. But a quick release from McCann and a better throw.”
Story singled with two outs against Edwin Diaz, who said he was focused on the batter, Charlie Blackmon.
“I was focused on making my pitches since we already had two outs,” Diaz said. “I wasn’t really focused on Story there. I executed the pitch that I wanted — it was a high fastball. The fact that he did get a late jump was the reason why we were able to get him out there.”
McCann, who arrived over the winter on a four-year contract worth $40.6 million, has nailed 3 of 8 (37.5 percent) runners attempting to steal against him this season.
“He’s showing the things he can do back there, not only receiving, but calling the game, but also controlling the running game by throwing to the bases like that,” Rojas said. “These types of games, we know how early it is in April, but guys are playing the one-run games, having situations like that, to come through with big plays it’s a good sign the guys are staying prepared.”
A winter wonderland might not be completely behind the Mets, as snow is a possibility for Tuesday in Chicago, where they are scheduled to begin a three-game series against the Cubs.
The Mets were postponed on Friday in Colorado because of snow and cold weather, prompting a doubleheader the following day. The forecast for Tuesday in Chicago shows a high of 39 degrees. The left Colorado just in time: Another snowstorm is forecast for Monday.
Rojas said there are continual conversations about Dominic Smith’s workload in left field. Smith returned to left on Sunday, after sitting out the nightcap of the doubleheader. The inordinate number of postponements this season has kept the Mets from overextending Smith in the field.
“It’s conversations both ways, with the performance department, Dom, always paying attention as well with what is going on,” Rojas said.
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