Lagares displays leather to offset quiet bat

May, 10, 2013
5/10/13
12:05
AM ET

Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Juan Lagares took away an extra-base hit from Andrew McCutchen to end the top of the ninth and set up the Mets' 3-2 win Thursday.


On the day Juan Lagares joined the Mets, Terry Collins suggested some organization officials believed the rookie can play a better center field than Matt den Dekker. That may be a little stretch, but Lagares sure can patrol the outfield.

Before Mike Baxter won Thursday's game with a walk-off RBI single, Lagares kept the game tied with his glove.

Andrew McCutchen had smoked a shot to the wall in center field against Bobby Parnell with a runner on first and two outs in the top of the ninth and the score tied at 2. Lagares, playing deep to prevent a double, raced to the wall, leaped and caught McCutchen's blast. Replays suggested McCutchen would have narrowly missed a homer. But Lagares most definitely took away a tiebreaking extra-base hit.

"I just said I had to go hard, because that at-bat right there can be the game," Lagares said. "I got a good jump and I got the ball."

Lagares went 1-for-3 Thursday but is still hitting .136 in 22 at-bats since an April 23 promotion from Triple-A Las Vegas.

"I don't do very well with the bat," Lagares said. "I just try to forget about it and go play defense."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187