Mets' Eduardo Escobar hopes clutch homer sparks turnaround
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A few hours before the Mets took the field Friday night, Brandon Nimmo pointed out how the team’s hitting problems can be attributed to their execution with two outs and runners in scoring position. 

“That can literally be one or two hits a game that you’re not getting with two outs, runners in scoring position that make the world of difference,” Nimmo said. “That’s the difference between you scoring two or three runs or you’ve scored zero.” 

Later on Friday night, Eduardo Escobar took that matter into his own hands to deliver a 4-3 win over the Rangers at Citi Field. 

Facing that exact situation — two outs, runners on second and third with the two teams tied at one in the fourth — Escobar lifted a sinker from Glenn Otto into the right field seats for his seventh home run of the season. That is the kind of hit the Mets have failed to come up with lately. That is the kind of hit that Escobar, who had 28 home runs as an All-Star 2021, has failed to get since moving to Queens this offseason. 

Eduardo Escobar crushes a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
Eduardo Escobar crushes a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The third baseman entered the game with a .222/.283/.375 slash line, fairly abysmal for a player who signed a two-year, $20 million deal last winter. His home run against the Rangers was just his second since June 6. 

“When you get your first base hit in MLB, it felt a lot like that,” Escobar said. “Especially to win the game, feels really good.” 

In a game in which the Mets largely struggled to hit the ball, it accounted for the bulk of the scoring. 

Unlike their losses to the Astros on Tuesday and Wednesday, in which the Mets scored a combined one run, their struggles to hit ultimately didn’t matter on Friday. They walked out of Citi Field unscathed and with a victory to their names. That could lead to renewed confidence after a three-game slide, if not for the team, then certainly for Escobar. 

“Nobody cares more than Eduardo does, almost to a fault,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And it’s well documented what kind of human being he is. We felt like 25 other guys hit the home run with him, that’s how much guys revel in what he does. 

Eduardo Escobar
Eduardo Escobar reacts after this towering home run.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“But we know that there’s potential for him to get stuff like that going for an extended period of time. I’ve talked a lot of times, sooner or later, guys chase their track record. We hope this is the start of it.” 

Escobar, whose track record is one of streakiness, has been on the wrong end of it all season. He woke up on Friday and told himself it was a new month, and could kick-start a new season. 

It ended up making a world of difference — between three runs and zero, and between a win and a loss.

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