Bold Mets starting lineup versus a lefty pitcher paid off thanks to new contact lenses for Tommy Pham
By Tim Boyle
On April 6, 2019, J.D. Davis found his way into the cleanup spot against the Washington Nationals. Fans were rabid. How dare the New York Mets even consider putting a player of his quality at the center of the lineup!
It paid off. Davis swatted a pair of home runs.
A similar thing happened on Sunday with the Mets lineup. Facing a lefty for the second time this year, Tommy Pham had a chance to start. Buck Showalter put him at the top of the lineup and in center field in place of Brandon Nimmo. A two-run home run helped extend the Mets lead. A hush came over the crowd.
A Mets starting lineup with Tommy Pham at the top isn’t pretty but it worked
Pham is far from a prototypical leadoff hitter even when the left-handed pitcher on the mound is your grandmother and she’s lobbing the pitches down the middle with words of encouragement. This exact situation isn’t something the Mets will ever experience. The occasional southpaw they run into may pitch at a similar level.
After a disastrous spring for the Mets, Pham looks like he’s cooking at the plate. The sample size is small and some early misses prior to this home run caused some immediate panic from fans when they saw Sunday’s lineup with him at the top and Nimmo nowhere to be found. Pham’s success may have been a common sense addition to his lifestyle with a new pair of contact lenses.
I’m starting a rumor that the old ones fell out when slapping Joc Pederson over the offseason.
Pham was 3 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBI in Sunday’s win with him at the top of the lineup in his team’s 5-1 victory. After some early calls for his designation for assignment, he’s 4 for 9 and proving that maybe he is a good fit for this ball club.
On Sunday, the results against a lefty were much better for the Mets with the more debatable lineup than on Friday when it looked like the absence of production versus lefties would continue into 2023. Until Pete Alonso’s solo shot in the ninth, they did nothing.
Pham has much more to prove before Mets fans completely put their pitchforks away. At least he isn’t Darin Ruf.