Jose Bautista was sitting on his couch at home in Florida when the call came Tuesday afternoon. He had a new job, with the New York Mets.
So the former home run champ hustled to the airport in Tampa, Florida, cheap wholesale nfl jerseys china hurried to Citi Field and was in such a rush, he didn’t meet his manager until he came off the grass from stretching.
“I said, ‘You’re in left field,’ and he said, ‘I got it,'” skipper Mickey Callaway said.
And an hour after joining the Mets, he swung into action.
The six-time All-Star hit a double in his first at-bat in a 5-1 loss to Miami on Tuesday night. Bautista drew a nice cheer from the sparse crowd on a rainy evening and plenty of high-fives from his new teammates in the dugout after scoring their only run.
The 37-year-old Bautista finished 1-for-3 and called it “one of the wildest days” in his career.
Needing an extra outfielder, and preferably one who can tag left-handed pitchers, the Mets signed Bautista two days after he was cut by Atlanta.
“When I’m ready to call it quits, I’ll do that,” he said. “I don’t think I’m ready to do that.”
The Mets said he arrived at the ballpark about a half-hour before game time. They reworked their original lineup and had him batting fifth.
Bautista quickly lived up to his nickname of Joey Bats by doubling down the left-field line in the second inning off lefty Caleb Smith, and he scored on Tomas Nido’s sacrifice fly.
“I’ve had better success versus lefties lately,” he said.cheap nfl jersey wholesale
Bautista’s hit came against a familiar opponent. Of the 12 games the righty hitter played this month in his short time with the Braves, five were against the Marlins, including one started by Smith.
“This is something we felt we should try to do,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said of signing Bautista.
The Mets recently lost former Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares to a season-ending toe injury. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes is out with a strained right hip flexor, with no timetable for his return.