Daniel Vogelbach has heard and understood the blessings.
He wants to hit even more than Mets fans want him to hit.
Vogelbach had a solid game Wednesday as the designated hitter, getting another start despite a deep funk that turned a 2022 hero into a 2023 punching bag.
Between outside calls for more batsmen for young players and his own struggles, Vogelbach has been regularly and loudly mocked at Queens.
Before helping the Mets defeat the Phillies 4–1 at Citi Field, Vogelbach said, “If I hit some homers and start doing what I’m capable of, they’ll be happy with me.” “They just want to win, as much as we want to win.
“It’s just coming in every day, working, and knowing that you’re always one step away from going down the path you want to go down.”
Vogelbach had been looking for that swing all month.
He had an OPS of just .582 and only one home run in 23 games in May. His style – a disciplined approach in which he walks often and may be the most selective hitter in baseball – can be frustrating for fans when it is not producing results.
But he didn’t need to swing to help the Mets score against Philadelphia.
Vogelbach drew walks in each of his first two plate appearances, the first preceded by a two-run home run from Mark Kanha and the second preceded by Kanha’s two-run single.
“The man gets on base,” said Kanha. “He had a great bat in front of me, and it was like, ‘Okay, now it’s my turn to do something. ,
Vogelbach is a rare player.
He entered the game swinging at only 31.8 percent of his pitches, which would have been the lowest in baseball if he had had enough at-bats to qualify.
He faced 11 pitches on Wednesday before taking the cut, walking eight pitches in his first two plate appearances before pitching 1-2 in the sixth inning.
“I feel like I’m getting really good at bat,” said Vogelbach, whose playing time has been challenged by Mark Vientos, a capable hitter without a position. “You hit a few homers a week, and no one talks about it anymore.”
The problem, Vogelbach said, is that their solid connection hasn’t been initiated.
Vogelbach had hit 54.9 percent of his at-bats entering the game, up from 38.1 percent the previous year.
His average exit velocity is the best of his eight-year career, but he only has two home runs to show for it.
“Obviously I want to get the ball in the air more, but working on it every day,” Vogelbach said. “I’m hitting the ball really hard, so that’s a positive. Just a little [swing adjustment] – Trying to make it a bit more repeatable.
Manager Buck Showalter said Vogelbach’s recent at-bats “haven’t been as good as he’s been capable of,” but again showed confidence, which paid off for a night of unorthodox play.
With Vientos and even Francisco Alvarez as options at DH, there may come a time when the Mets can no longer field a player who has yet to take the field this season.
Vogelbach will have to hit (or walk) his way to a roster spot, and he believes he can.
Vogelbach said, “I stay true to what I believe and know.” “I’ve hit against right-handed pitching my whole career. I don’t think it’s something you forget how to do.
Jets receiver Garrett Wilson throws the ceremonial first pitch to childhood friend Brett Batty.
Both wore each other’s jersey and hugged.
Wilson grew up in Texas and caught passes from a young Batty who played quarterback for his sixth grade peewee football team.
“He was a great childhood friend to me,” Batty said. “He’s the nicest guy in the world, honestly.”
Omar Narvaez (left calf strain) caught nine innings in his fourth rehab game with Triple-A Syracuse. Narvaez, who is 3-for-11 in the minors so far, will be activated on Tuesday.
Tomas Nido made his first start behind the plate since being activated last week. Nido went 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout.
The Mets will host Lou Gehrig Day at Citi Field on Friday. Before the game against the Blue Jays, Upper East Side native Sarah Langes, a researcher and analyst for MLB who shared her ALS diagnosis last year, will participate in a ceremony.
The Amazin Mates Foundation will present Project ALS with a $10,000 grant for research in Langs’ honor.