francisco lindor mets
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As we sit here in the middle of September, both the Mets and Yankees are in control of their own destiny with the postseason looming. But let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane to an important game for Francisco Lindor during his first year in Queens.

By the time the Yankees visited Citi Field for the final installment of the 2021 Subway Series, the Mets had already collapsed out of first place. They were actually on their way to making the wrong kind of history. But during this three-game set, the Amazins found a way to dig deep and take two of three from the Bronx Bombers.

After splitting the first two contests, the Mets and Yankees were geared up for a rubber match on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. With the lights shining on this particular game, Lindor earned his Mets colors with this memorable three-homer performance:

It’s too bad we didn’t have Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling in the booth to call this game. There would’ve been excited calls and lots of pen-throwing from Cohen with each blast that left the yard. I will say this, though — Matt Vasgersian did a fine job capturing the moment. He just had the impossible task of living up to what Mets fans are used to hearing.

This was an important game for Lindor, who didn’t have the year he was hoping for. His April and May were horrendous, as evidenced by the 69 wRC+ through his first 200 plate appearances. Even though his production normalized after that (124 wRC+ from June 1st through the end of the season), it wasn’t enough to bring his season-long stats back to career norms.

Among months in which he played a full slate of games, September was easily Lindor’s best of 2021. It also laid the foundation for the production we’ve seen from him in 2022. Through his final 130 trips to the plate, the Mets’ shortstop posted a .895 OPS and a 138 wRC+ to go along with nine homers and 25 RBI.

Lindor had 11 homers and 38 RBI through the end of August, but in just one month, he nearly doubled both of those numbers.

Through 614 plate appearances this year, Lindor has kept those good vibes coming with a 5.7 fWAR and a 125 wRC+. That’s more in line with how he produced from 2017-19 in Cleveland. His 91 RBI are already the most ever in a season by a Mets shortstop, and his 21 homers are on the verge of doing the same thing.

Some will say September games don’t matter for non-playoff teams because there is no meaning behind them. That may be true, but there’s something about finishing a season strong and laying the groundwork for a successful one to follow. That’s what Lindor did. Even if he plays it down, it’d be hard for me to believe this specific performance did nothing for his confidence moving forward after a rough start.

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Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.