Asdrubal Cabrera Breaks Out of Slump, Powering Mets to Win
Asdrubal Cabrera is well versed in what can happen at the trade deadline. He found himself on the move four years ago when the Cleveland Indians sent him to Washington to help the Nationals make a playoff push.
Cabrera, 32, is in the same position again with the floundering Mets. He admitted that he was wary of what the days leading up to July 31 could bring but said he was trying not to get worked up. He said he figures if he just comes to the park and hits the way he did in a 12-6 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday, he will be fine.
“There’s nothing I can control,” said Cabrera, who was 3 for 5 with a home run and four R.B.I. “Whatever they do, they want to do what’s best for the team. I hope to stay here. I like New York. I like the team, the town.”
Potential playoff teams in need of a bat are taking a long look at Cabrera, who increased his home run total to 18 when he hit a tiebreaking two-run shot off Nick Kingham (5-5) in the fourth, putting the Mets ahead to stay. Cabrera entered hitting just .184 (7 for 38) in his previous 12 games.
Wilmer Flores also hit a two-run homer and had three R.B.I. as the struggling Mets posted their highest run total since scoring 12 runs against Colorado on June 18.
Amed Rosario and Jose Bautista had two hits each as the Mets sent the Pirates to their second straight loss after an 11-game winning streak that had pushed Pittsburgh back into the postseason picture.
Steven Matz (5-8) settled down after giving up two-run homers to David Freese and Josh Harrison early on. Matz tied a career high with nine strikeouts, walked two and retired his final 10 batters, winning for just the third time in his last 11 starts.
Matz called himself effectively wild and said he had started to feel better over his final two innings when his arm tired. All nine of his strikeouts came in the first four innings. He pitched to contact over the final two innings, but only one ball left the infield.
“It’s almost like I got a little tired and was able to stay smooth instead of muscle up a little bit, and I think it helped me out,” Matz said.