Bader's presence in two-hole sets tone for 'dynamic lineup'

June 13th, 2024

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Carlos Mendoza made some minor changes to his starting lineup on Wednesday night. He decided to sit outfielder Brandon Nimmo in favor of Tyrone Taylor, while placing second in the lineup and moving Pete Alonso back to the cleanup spot.

Mendoza made those changes because his team was facing Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett.

“I wanted to get Pete back in the middle of our lineup,” Mendoza said. “Against [Braxton], who hits behind Francisco Lindor in the two-hole? There were a couple of options and I decided to go with Bader.”

The minor adjustments paid off as the Mets collected 14 hits in a 10-4 series-evening win over the Marlins at Citi Field. Four of those hits came from Taylor, who also scored a run.

Mendoza often complains about the team’s plate discipline. In fact, entering Wednesday's action, New York’s chase percentage sat at 29 percent, which was above MLB’s average of 28.2 percent. It was a different story in the series-evening win over Miami.

“We were ready to hit from pitch one,” Mendoza said. “We [were able to get pitches] and put some good swings on it from one through nine.”

What a night for Taylor, though. After having a month of May to forget -- 7-for-45 [.156] -- Taylor is hitting .389 [7-for-18] in June, thanks in part to his four-hit game.

“Having success in this game is good. I’m happy to contribute to this team,” Taylor said. “We are really good players. That is something we are capable of and to see it happening -- I think baseball is a sport of momentum. Hopefully, we’ll keep it going.”

New York scored early and often off Garrett. Harrison Bader provided a first-inning lead with a monster two-run homer over the left-center-field wall. According to Statcast, the homer had an exit velocity of 107.5 mph and traveled a projected 431 feet.

“[Garrett] has good stuff, especially when he locates it. But again, it’s just staying in the pocket and being ready for that pitch that catches more the heart of the plate,” Bader said. “He is a good pitcher. He mixes very well with multiple pitches. When he lives on the edges, he is obviously tough to hit.

“As with any pitcher, if [the pitch] shows up middle [of the zone], it's our job to put a good short swing on it and do damage. I tried to do that. It worked out tonight for us.”

But Miami ended up tying the score in the top of the second off Mets left-hander Davis Peterson. Dane Myers drove in Jake Burger with a single to right field, while Myers touched home plate on a single by Emmanuel Rivera.

New York went ahead again in the bottom of the inning by scoring three runs off Garrett to make it a 5-2 game. Francisco Alvarez highlighted the scoring with an RBI single. It didn’t hurt that Miami made two errors to extend the inning.

The Marlins again answered in the fifth inning as Bryan De La Cruz logged an RBI double, while Jazz Chisholm Jr. singled to left field, scoring De La Cruz to make it 5-4.

New York put the game out of reach by the bottom of the eighth inning. Starling Marte and Lindor highlighted the scoring with solo home runs in the fifth and eighth innings, respectively.

“Those guys are really good. They've had good plans, obviously,” Garrett said. “I have to figure out better plans and better Plan B's when I need them.”

For the Mets, it was a lineup that produced plenty of runs -- at least for Wednesday.

“Our lineup is very dynamic. I think you could put a lot of guys in that position [to hit near the top of the order] and be successful,” Bader said. “[Mendoza] chose me to be that guy to kind of switch it up there. It’s a dynamic lineup [and] we continue to prove it. It was a good night for us.”