Sports

Mets’ Francisco Lindor busts out of slump with homer, 3-hit game

CHICAGO — Francisco Lindor’s bat was conspicuous in its presence on a night just about everything else cratered for the Mets.

The firsts in a Mets uniform for the All-Star shortstop included a home run and three-hit game in his team’s 16-4 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday.

Lindor improved his slash line to .222/.357/.311. with the 3-for-4 performance. The homer came in his first-inning at-bat against Zach Davies.

“All it takes is one swing to feel like I’m in a good spot,” Lindor said. “I got that one swing and after that … it was just a matter of seeing pitches.”

Before the game, hitting coach Chili Davis said he was confident Lindor would soon emerge from his slump.

“I kind of look at treating [Lindor] like I would a David Ortiz,” said Davis, who worked with the Red Sox slugger in 2015-16. “Lindor has had so much success in his past and he’s so young he’s been a great hitter, he’s still a great hitter.”

Francisco Lindor
Francisco Lindor
Getty Images

“I think I have got to listen to him, because he is the guy who is feeling what’s going on, but if I can help him and show him some videos and say, ‘Remember when you used to feel this and that,’ and little suggestions with him, but you don’t want to be in his face every day. You want him to feel it out and find it.”

In search of clues, Davis recently watched video, which dated to 2017, of Lindor with Cleveland. Davis has also spoken to Indians assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez and was told what kind of pregame drills helped Lindor the most during his slumps in Cleveland.

Davis dismissed the notion that Lindor’s bat speed has diminished.

“There is no possible way that his bat speed is an issue,” Davis said. “It’s just a feel. We haven’t played consistently enough games. He left spring training feeling really good. We go to Washington and we don’t play a game, we do simulated BP, it helps but it’s not like competing against another team.”

The three games in Washington postponed because of COVID-19 concerns were just the start of a hellacious month. Since then, four other games were postponed or suspended for the Mets, who have already played two doubleheaders.

“It affects your timing,” Davis said. “Plus, he’s in a different league this year and a lot of the pitchers, he doesn’t know right now and he’s probably faced them a few times. But it’s not like facing guys over and over again. He is the kind of guy, and [Jeff] McNeil too that once they get going, then you don’t have anything to say to them because they are just going to roll.

“We need to get out on the field and be more baseball-like. I’m not overly concerned. … I know for [Lindor] and guys like McNeil, once they get that feeling and lock it in they are just going to roll with it for a long time.

“I figure if we can get two or three hot months in here we can win this division. That is the main objective: to win the division and move on to the playoffs.”

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