NEW YORK — Honeymoon periods for athletes playing in New York usually don’t last long, and even one of the newest and most-popular members of the New York Mets, designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, started hearing some boo birds in the stands after a tough stretch in the middle of a pennant race. Whether it was playing his former team, enjoying the last full weekend of summer or what, Vogelbach has started the latest series like the person the Mets envisioned him to be when being acquired earlier in the season.
Vogelbach homered in the fourth inning in helping to lead the Mets to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York’s second consecutive victory. Taijuan Walker pitched into the eighth inning, allowing three runs, before Edwin Díaz came in to record a five-out save.
When the Mets acquired Vogelbach from the Pirates in July, the Mets saw a power bat with a good eye at the plate who would go a long way in solving the issues the team had at the designated hitter spot. Mets’ fans saw a folk hero in the portly Vogelbach, whose rotund physique was to be rooted for as much as his powerful swings and penchant for drawing walks. For the first few weeks, Vogelbach seemed the perfect fit and was productive, but that was before a massive 5-for-42 slump going into this series drew a smattering of boos after some unproductive at-bats.
Last night saw some encouraging signs, as Vogelbach went 2-for-2 with a double and three runs batted in. Tonight, he launched a 95-mph 1-0 pitch from Mitch Keller in the fourth inning the other way and over the left-centerfield wall for his 17th homer of the season.
“Hitting’s hard,” Vogelbach said. “I wish I would have had 20 homers over the last three weeks. You always can learn from the good, but you can really learn from the bad.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s contest, and after clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 37 pictures in total.