As the Mets prepare to play their 10th doubleheader of the season Saturday — the highest total for an MLB team before the All-Star break since the Blue Jays in 1978 — Francisco Lindor is begging for a return to the normalcy of everyday baseball.
“I love the seven-inning doubleheaders, but I hate that we have so many this year,” Lindor said before the Mets faced the Pirates at Citi Field. “Now, I’m like, ‘Ah, s–t, another two games.’ It wears out on you for sure. It’s something nobody wants to do. We’re here to play 162 every day, not two per day.”
The latest doubleheader is the result of a Thursday rainout against the Pirates. On Wednesday, the Mets spilt a doubleheader against the Brewers at Citi Field, winning the first game and losing the nightcap.
It’s an equation that has become all too common for the Mets, who have split their last five doubleheaders, losing the nightcap in each of them.
“We have got to figure that formula out,” Lindor said. “We have got to figure out how to win two games in a day.”
The Mets aren’t finished with doubleheaders after Saturday. Three others are scheduled in the second half, ensuring the team will play at least 13. It’s the highest total for the franchise since 1979, when the Mets played 19 doubleheaders.
“I think there is an advantage when there are two seven-inning games because we have some starters that can give us some length, and yes it can protect our bullpen,” manager Luis Rojas said.
“The seven-inning games, it’s a real good adjustment by MLB so the guys stay fresh so guys can play both games, so the bullpens are saved.”
The Mets have managed to avoid getting swept in a doubleheader this season. Twice, they have swept an opponent (April 13 vs. Philadelphia and May 27 vs. Colorado).
Though the Mets are prone to late-inning dramatics, Lindor doesn’t view the shortened games as inhibiting the team’s chances of a comeback victory.
“I am so into the game I don’t really see it that way,” Lindor said. “I see it more as, ‘We haven’t scored, there is another inning, another chance for us to score, let’s take advantage of it.’ ”