Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin validating Mets’ deadline decisions

Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin validating Mets' deadline decisions

So, about this much debated trade deadline. Maybe the Mets didn’t do so badly after all.

The first signs are certainly promising. Ask the Braves.

Newcomers Tyler Naquin and Daniel Vogelbach both homered Thursday night, helping the Mets start a critical five-game showdown at Citi Field against the Braves with a 6-4 win that extended their NL East lead to 4 games ¹/₂.

Both left-handed hitters, who will mostly play against right-handed pitchers they’ve been known to run over, delivered hits in the Mets’ ninth win in 10 games. Naquin, a former Red, homered in the second and sixth innings to become the first Met go yard multiple times on his home debut. Former Pirate Vogelbach, meanwhile, went deep in the third inning for his second home run in as many days, electrifying the large Queens crowd of 38,693.

“We knew what they were capable of from a background perspective,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It became clear a little early why they were meeting our needs well, and why our guys and [general manager] Bowl [Eppler] worked so hard trying to find the right person.

Tyler Naquin circles the bases after his second home run of the night.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Daniel Vogelbach reacts after his third-inning homer.
Daniel Vogelbach reacts after his third-inning homer.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Eppler was criticized for failing at the deadline (perhaps due to his unwillingness to process needed prospects) to improve the bullpen, beyond the addition of Cubs reliever Mychal Givens, or to land a receiver, but he seems to have improved the offense. Landing Naquin and Vogelbach and acquiring right-handed hitter Darin Ruf from the Giants, Eppler improved the Mets’ depth and gave Showalter options, depending on the opposing pitcher.

Ruf, who smashes left-handers with .886 OPS, is yet to get a batting attack. The others impressed. Naquin has hit safely in four of his five games as the Met, and the patient and powerful Vogelbach has four extra hits and reached base in 18 of his 38 plate appearances with the team.

“It’s brilliant,” Naquin, who was accompanied by his family, said of his first home game as the Met. “I mean, heck, even though I’ve been playing here for four years, it’s a good night. Very pleasant. The fans, even warming me up on the line, made me feel like home.

Vogelbach opened the 9-5 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday with a grand slam. On Thursday, Naquin ran twice in the same game for the first time this season, firing his first homer and going to the opposite court for his second. Vogelbach received a call-up after taking Kyle Wright deep into the third after Pete Alonso’s two-point shot.

Somewhere at Citi Field, Eppler must have been smiling.

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