With his No. 1 fan in the house, Francisco Lindor put on a show.
Lindor’s mom, Maria Serrano, watched him play at Citi Field for the first time since he signed with the Mets last year. And, in his first at-bat of the night, Lindor belted a three-run home run to straightaway center field, just a few feet west of the Home Run Apple. Lindor let out a roar as he rounded first base, then pointed to his family ‘s suite his, positioned just behind home plate, when he crossed the dish.
“My mom got to watch me play as a New York Met in New York,” said Lindor, who added his mom being in the stands gave him the extra energy and motivation that he needed. “That, to me, is special.”
The shortstop’s 10th home run of the year sparked a big offensive night for the Mets in their 10-4 win over the Marlins on Friday at Citi Field. The Amazin’s exploded for a seven-run rally in the sixth inning, punctuated by Pete Alonso’s grand slam. Carlos Carrasco was strong through 6.1 innings and 98 pitches.
Lindor’s wife, Katia, set up the surprise for his mom to visit New York during Father’s Day weekend. When Lindor was summoned into the press conference room hours before first pitch on Friday, he had no idea his mom his would be there. Serrano lives in Florida, while other family members also visited Lindor from Puerto Rico on Friday. She suffered a head injury in 2020, and since then it’s been difficult for her to fly.
“She’s here, so that’s a good thing,” Lindor said. “My mom means the world to me. It’s been a tough long journey for her. To see her here, I’m just happy. She’s better.”
The Mets’ $341-million man padded his offensive numbers with his mom in town. Lindor’s 49 RBI on the season lead all shortstops, and he’s three RBI shy of tying Asdrubal Cabrera for the most RBI by a Mets shortstop in the first half of a season.
For good measure, Lindor also flashed the leather on a couple of terrific plays in the dirt. Since the start of the 2020 season, Lindor leads all shortstops with 30 Outs Above Average (OAA). For infielders, OAA measures how far the fielder has to go to reach the ball, how much time he has to get there, and how far he then is from the base that the runner is going toward. Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed is second with 29 OAA, Carlos Correa is seventh with 13 OAA, and Javier Baez is eighth with 11 OAA, to name a few other shortstops in that span.
“It was a special night for Francisco,” Buck Showalter said. “She’s doing better health-wise, but it’s been tough on her to travel. I got emotional when he hit the home run, and I could tell he was too. To see her son do that tonight, you could tell he had a little hop in his step. He made some great plays defensively.”
The Mets’ sixth-inning rally began when Marlins starter Pablo Sanchez gave up a single to Jeff McNeil and hit Mark Canha with a pitch. Then Luis Guillorme crushed a 401-foot single to left-center that was originally called a caught fly ball by center fielder Bryan De La Cruz. If the call stood, the Mets would’ve been caught in a triple play because Canha and McNeil had already advanced to second and third, respectively. But after a Mets challenge, the call was overturned and the bases were loaded for JD Davis, who collected an RBI single and pushed the rally in motion.
After Starling Marte walked and Lindor was hit by a pitch, Alonso mashed his second career grand slam 368 feet to left-center. Alonso’s 19th home run of the season gave him the National League lead. With the grand slam, the Mets first baseman also became the second-fastest to eclipse 125 career home runs in MLB history, doing so in 435 games. Ryan Howard is first, achieving 125 homers in 405 games. Aaron Judge was knocked down to third; the Yankees outfielder reached that home run mark in 447 games.
“Pete? Oh my God, this guy is unbelievable,” said Carrasco, who earned his eighth win of the season on Friday, which is tied for most in the majors. “He plays hard. It’s a lot of fun to have him behind me. I love the way he plays. I think he’s going to have a great season.”