Flushing, NY— Eduardo Escobar entered ‘clutch mode’ Wednesday evening at Citi Field with a game to remember for the New York Mets. The Venezuelan native went 3-4, driving in all five Mets runs against the Miami Marlins, and to cap it off was a key walk-off single in the 10th inning. Ultimately, Escobar was on the money as he rallied New York to a 5-4 victory over Miami.
“It was an incredible game,” said Escobar through team translator Alan Suriel. “To play like that, I give all thanks to god, but what a game, and how that turned out.”
With the Mets dugout zoned in, leaning over the top step all game, and 28,228 rocking fans at Citi Field, the postseason atmosphere arose with anticipation growing inning by inning.
The energy eclipsed on three separate occasions, all in part to Escobar. A two-run homer in the seventh, followed by a game-tying two-run double in the eighth recording his 600th career RBI, and then the game winner in the tenth, quite a night.
“It was a great game tonight, especially when I needed it,” said a smiling Escobar during an on-the-field postgame interview. “I needed the team, I needed the fans, and thank you, now go to Atlanta, and play good over there.” He shouted “Let’s Go,” to end it as the Amazin crowd roared.
Escobar season is upon us. The 33-year-old is slashing .330/.379/.638 with eight HR and 24 RBI in the month of September. Immediately, you must be wondering what has factored into Escobar’s offensive surge? “The process hasn’t really changed,” Escobar said. “I’m just happy that we’re able to go out there and win games and that I’m helping the team win games.”
“The answer’s probably nothing other than he just never gave in,” Mets manager Buck Showalter emphasized. “He never gives in. Was the same guy every day.”
What’s even more impressive than his recent statistics is the team’s bond and comradery around Escobar. Several teammates and coaches have praised his work ethic and urge in not feeling the pressure.
“For him to come through for us late in the season, it’s huge,” Mets right-hander Taijuan Walker said. “I knew he could do this. And he’s doing it at the right time for us.
“He’s a catalyst,” said Mets reliever Drew Smith about Escobar.
“I think he’s really fed off the support of teammates and organization, so to get a return for that, there’s a special bond and something that plays long term,” said Showalter.
So what’s next? Off to Atlanta. The Mets and Atlanta Braves are set to collide at Truist Park this weekend as the most thrilling division races of the 2022 regular season concludes with the National League East title remaining up for grabs.
Though Escobar and the Mets have already punched their ticket to the postseason, the team is locked in on the goal ahead: the division crown. New York currently holds a one-game lead in the NL East, with six games remaining (3 @ Atlanta, 3 vs Washington). Brace yourselves for October.
“We have an opportunity, just like they do and it’s great for baseball. Good for our sport we all love and it’s an honor to be a part of,” Showalter said. “We’ll see where it takes us, but we’re going to get an opportunity in October to play in the playoffs… we’ll see when”.
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Robert Rizzo is the assistant editor for Latino Sports
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
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