OMG! Iglesias has Mets singing in extra-inning win (2024)

July 3rd, 2024

OMG! Iglesias has Mets singing in extra-inning win (1)

Anthony DiComo

@AnthonyDiComo

WASHINGTON -- Over the past week or so since the release of his hit song, “OMG,” Mets infielder José Iglesias quipped that his phone has been “busy.” Before each game, Iglesias texts his family that he loves them and then stows his cell in his locker, freeing himself from a phone that won’t seem to stop buzzing.

There is little doubt that “OMG,” more than anything Iglesias has done on a baseball field, has propelled the recent amplification of his fame. The song has soared up the Latin music charts. Iglesias performed it in an impromptu concert last Friday at Citi Field. Tuesday, he delivered a nationally broadcast interview about it on NBC Nightly News.

But in a way, it has all served to obscure the fact that Iglesias has done more than his share on the field as well. His go-ahead double in the 10th inning of a 7-2 win over the Nationals on Tuesday was the most crucial hit of the night for the Mets, who scored five-plus extra-inning runs in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history (and just the fifth time in MLB history).

Iglesias also hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning of a 9-7 win on Monday, and he had three hits last Saturday. He’s batting a career-best .388, establishing himself as the poster child for New York’s run up the National League standings. Since Iglesias arrived on the scene on May 31, the Mets are 19-8 -- easily the best record in baseball over that stretch.

“He’s been amazing, man,” said teammate Brandon Nimmo, who returned from a fainting spell to deliver a game-tying hit in the eighth inning and another RBI knock in the 10th. “Obviously, we all kid around and love the ‘OMG’ stuff, and it’s been awesome and we’ve all gotten behind it. But he’s an amazing player behind that. There’s no way around it.”

Drawing another start at second base Tuesday with Nationals left-hander DJ Herz on the mound, Iglesias -- like most Mets hitters -- found himself unable to break through until the 10th. But when he came to the plate to lead off that inning with an automatic runner on second base, Iglesias hunkered down for what he called an “important” at-bat.

A notorious free swinger, Iglesias turned on Robert Garcia’s 1-0 fastball off the inside edge of the plate, pulling it inches foul down the line. Yet he was not simply trying to yank a hit into left field. When Garcia followed up that pitch with a slider low and away, Iglesias stuck out his bat and shot it to right.

That one stayed fair by a decent margin, allowing Tyrone Taylor to race home with the go-ahead run. The Mets weren’t done, either, scoring four more times on Nimmo’s double, a Mark Vientos RBI single and a Pete Alonso two-run homer, which gave them 11 combined 10th-inning runs over the past two nights.

“That says a lot about the team,” Iglesias said. “The game is not over until it’s over. There’s 27 outs to be played -- and more. That says a lot about the team when you’re coming through so late in the game.”

Few have done it as well as Iglesias, who is now 8-for-13 with runners in scoring position. His compact swing and ability to use all fields sets him up well for such scenarios, giving him an offensive presence to complement the same defensive excellence he’s demonstrated over a 12-year career.

Such skills are measurable. The other stuff -- “OMG” and the like -- is not, even if little doubt exists about the song’s effect on the Mets. For about a month, they’ve been playing it after wins, using it as a celebratory anthem. They cannot get it out of their heads. As Iglesias stood in front of an interview screen late Tuesday and answered questions about his play, catcher Francisco Alvarez -- oblivious to the reporters surrounding his teammate -- began singing “OMG” as he dressed.

“It’s crazy, because he doesn’t fit the computer models,” designated hitter J.D. Martinez said. “But he’s a gamer. He’s a good ballplayer. He knows how to put the ball in play. He makes good plays. He’s good defensively. He just plays the game the right way.

“That’s on the field. And then off the field, you guys see it. I don’t even have to say it -- the energy he brings, he’s just good camaraderie for a clubhouse. That’s one thing I’ve always preached about him: He makes coming to the ballpark and being in the clubhouse fun.”

OMG! Iglesias has Mets singing in extra-inning win (2024)
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