Sunday was supposed to be a routine day off for Asdrubal Cabrera, but instead he was called upon to deliver some heroics.
With a man on and two outs, Cabrera found himself at the plate as a pinch-hitter during a 1-1 game in the bottom of the seventh. Cabrera sent a 2-2 pitch into the stands for a 400-foot dinger, which gave the Mets a 3-1 lead and sent the Citi Field crowd into a frenzy. Two innings and one insurance run later the score would hold at 4-1, and the Mets concluded a home sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Asdrubal's clutch hitting has been a recurring theme of this early 2018 season.The heart of the Mets lineup has been plagued by injury and under-performance, but the one consistent has been Cabrera. Rewind back to the offseason, and one of the first decisions the front office had to make was to either exercise Cabrera’s option, or let him walk. Sandy went with the former. The way the bargain free agent pricing played out, that $8 million decision looked like it may have been a misstep, but the Mets have been handsomely rewarded. Cabrera is having a career year, and he’s been able to help keep the Mets afloat during a rocky and inconsistent start to the season. He’s batting .321 with seven homers and 26 RBIs. He boasts a robust OPS of .915. Those look like All-Star numbers to me.
And while Cabrera is off to a blazing start in 2018, he’s quietly been solid his whole time in the orange-and-blue. Since joining the Mets in 2016, he’s provided versatility at multiple positions in the infield, and more importantly, he’s revived his career at the plate. After two down years in 2014 and '15, he’s hit .286 since coming to New York.
Sunday’s pinch-hit moon shot was just another monstrous moment in what’s shaping up to be a special year for Cabrera. It helped secure a much-needed sweep, and shifted momentum in the Met's favor heading into a very winnable series against the Marlins.
Photo credit: Associated Press