Cespedes comes through in pinch for Mets

Terry Collins is a baseball lifer and in that baseball life, the New York Mets manager has learned m
The New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrates his three-run homer with Kevin Plawecki (26) and Juan Lagares during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday at Citi Field.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrates his three-run homer with Kevin Plawecki (26) and Juan Lagares during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday at Citi Field.

Terry Collins is a baseball lifer and in that baseball life, the New York Mets manager has learned many lessons.

One of those lessons was to err on the side of caution with injuries, particularly when the injured player is your star, Yoenis Cespedes, and he’s telling you he is ready to play.

“I was taught a long time ago when you have a situation like that, a guy that’s been day to day and he misses three or four days,” Collins explained before the game, “it’s always safer to give him one more day, then turn him loose.”

Collins spoke about putting Cespedes back in the lineup Tuesday and speculated perhaps he’d find a spot to get him a pinch-hit at-bat. That chance came in the seventh inning, and it took just one pitch for Cespedes to show Collins that you learn something new even after a lifetime in the game.

Cespedes roped Brandon Finnegan’s offering just over the orange line on Citi Field’s left field wall for a game-tying, three-run homer, the first pinch-hit home run of his career. Two batters later, the Mets had the lead and were on their way to their fifth straight win, 4-3 over the Reds.

Collins heard from Cespedes that he was ready to play after sitting out three games. The slugger originally banged up the knee on the last homestead when he ran into the grandstands chasing a foul ball, but he aggravated it Friday while sliding into second base.

“He said if we needed him he can play [Tuesday]. [He] wanted to play,” Collins said before the game. “He hasn’t done anything in three days, hasn’t even been out on the field. But really, he’s been unable to do anything until [Tuesday]. . . . So we just thought instead of just slamming him back in there and all of a sudden aggravate that thing to where we miss him for another week, one more day won’t make a big difference.”

The day began with bad news that catcher Travis d’Arnaud was bound for the 15-day disabled list with a right rotator cuff strain. With Cespedes looking at another day off, the Mets offense struggled through the first five innings with just one hit off Finnegan.

CINCINNATI NEW YORK

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Cozart ss 5 0 2 0 Grndrsn rf 3 1 2 0

Holt rf 4 0 2 0 Cabrera ss 3 0 1 0

Votto 1b 1 0 0 1 Wright 3b 4 0 1 1

Suarez 3b 4 0 0 0 Cnfrt lf 4 0 2 0

Duvall lf 4 0 2 0 Walker 2b 4 0 0 0

Brnhrt c 4 1 2 0 Flores 1b 3 0 0 0

DeJesus 2b 3 1 1 2 Familia rp 0 0 0 0

Finngan sp 3 0 0 0 Lagares cf 3 1 0 0

Cingrni rp 0 0 0 0 Plawcki c 3 1 1 0

Schblr ph 1 0 0 0 Colon sp 1 0 0 0

Cotham rp 0 0 0 0 Campbll ph 1 0 0 0

Hmilton cf 4 1 1 0 Verrett rp 0 0 0 0

Cspds ph 1 1 1 3

Reed rp 0 0 0 0

Duda 1b 0 0 0 0

Totals 33 3 10 3 Totals 30 4 8 4

Cincinnati 001 200 000 — 3

NY Mets 000 000 40x — 4

E—W.Flores 1. LOB—New York 6, Cincinnati 8. 2B—Barnhart (2), Conforto (8), Cozart (7), Duvall (7). 3B—Granderson (2). HR—Cespedes (6), De Jesus (1). CS—Duvall (1), Granderson (1), T.Holt (1), D.Wright (1).

IP H R ER BB SO

Cincinnati

Finnegan 6 1-3 5 3 3 3 5

Cingrani L, 0-2 2-3 2 1 1 0 1

Cotham 1 1 0 0 0 2

NY Mets

B.Colon 5 8 3 3 1 4

Verrett W, 3-0 2 2 0 0 2 1

Reed H, 5 1 0 0 0 0 2

Familia S, 7 1 0 0 0 0 1

HBP—Granderson (by Finnegan).

Umpires—Home, Carlos Torres; First, Gerry Davis; Second, Cory Blaser; Third, Sam Holbrook.

T—2:58. A—26,978 (41,800).

Categories: -Sports-

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