Lee’s first MLB hit lifts Mets to win in extras

Fellow rookie Fargas has two hits, including a triple in the 12th

May 22nd, 2021

It’s a game the Mets will never forget. Even though they have 16 players on the injured list, they found a way to win a squeaker over the Marlins, on Friday night at loanDepot park.

Was it the best game of the year for New York? It may have been, considering the Mets have been hampered by injuries during the month of May. It was the rookies -- Khail Lee and Johneshwy Fargas-- who proved to be the difference as New York edged the Marlins, 6-5, in 12 innings.

“It was a long game,” Fargas said. “I prepare for long times all the time.”

Lee was ready to play extra innings on this day. He finally made contact, and it came at the right time, collecting his first big league hit. The game was tied at 3 when New York scored the go-ahead run off right-hander Adam Cimber. With one out, Lee doubled down the right-field line, scoring Dominic Smith and giving New York a one-run lead. It was Lee’s first hit after striking out in his first eight at-bats.

Manager Luis Rojas was so giddy that he congratulated Lee at least five times.

Before the game, Rojas and Lee talked about what was going on at the plate. The skipper was pleased that Lee was able to make adjustments during his at-bat against Cimber.

“I’m very proud of him. It’s very exciting to see him deliver,” Rojas said about Lee. “I’m just glad he made the adjustment from one day to another. I know the hitting coaches have been working hard with him. They worked with him on staying on the ball more. He just made contact. The kid has pop. That’s what got him here.”

Lee, who plans to give the ball to his parents, said the off-day on Thursday helped him forget about the first eight at-bats of his career.

“It’s a brand-new day. I try to come in every day thinking, ‘It’s a brand-new game.’ I was ready to get up there and help the team out as much as I can -- anyway I can,” Lee said.

Fargas followed and tripled past right fielder Adam Duvall, scoring two more runs. Fargas was trying to go for an inside-the-park home run but was nailed at the plate.

“I was ready for that moment. That moment came to me, and I took advantage to get that big hit,” Fargas said. “I help the team to win games.”

Left-hander Aaron Loup couldn’t close it out and allowed two runs in the bottom of the 12th, but Jacob Barnes saved the game by getting Duvall to fly out to center fielder Cameron Maybin.

It was a game that saw both teams use a combined 18 pitchers. But it was the Mets who came out on top for their 21st win of the season.

“What I like [about the bullpen] is that they don’t shy away,” Rojas said. “These guys, they make the adjustments. Not every day is going to be a shutdown, as good as they are. They controlled their emotions. They are making adjustments on the fly.”