NEW YORK — What a difference a year makes. Entering June 1, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor has 42 RBIs, which is second on the club behind Pete Alonso. A year ago at the same time, Lindor had a mere 11 RBIs.
Lindor said Tuesday morning he knows why he has been driving in runs in bunches this year. He said his approach at the plate has been consistent. Lindor also credits the team, including manager Buck Showalter and hitting coaches Eric Chavez and Jeremy Barnes. It helps that Lindor and the rest of the Mets are not worried about launch angles. It’s about putting the ball in play.
“Nobody is talking about lifting the baseball. No one,” Lindor said. “Everybody is focusing on their approach and how to hit that pitcher and that’s it. Then after that, [what] we witnessed in the box, we passed it on to my teammates. You see the guys always talking. We always talk about hitting the pitcher and hitting. That helps a lot.”
The biggest thing Lindor learned from Showalter is attention to details and doing things the right way on the baseball field.
“He has been amazing. [Former manager] Luis Rojas is a good person and manager,” Lindor said. “Buck Showalter has 20 years [or more] of experience in baseball. You pick things that [Showalter] has said throughout the year. He is passing it on to me. I love that. I continue to learn and get better. I respect him a lot. He is an amazing role model for a lot of us.”
Lindor can’t say enough about Chavez and Barnes, and for good reason. On Tuesday, Lindor extended his RBI streak to a career-high nine games, tied for third longest in Mets history. He drove in two runs during the fifth inning against the Nationals, when he singled off Erasmo Ramírez to knock in Tomas Nido and Mark Canha.
“Last year, I had one good game and then five bad ones. Two good games, then a week of bad games,” Lindor said. “The hitting coaches [Chavez and Barnes] — I rely on them [a lot]. Last year, the hitting coaches were really good, but the relationship wasn’t there. It was growing.
“Now, the relationship is there. It grew already. I trust them. Last year, I trusted the guys [but at] the end of the year. You could see the results at the end of the year. They had to get to know me and understand my swing. With Eric and Jeremy, from Day 1, we put in the time to get to know each other. Everybody is playing really good ball. It makes it easier for me.”