Mets manager Mickey Callaway told Jeff McNeil what he expected when he led off in Sunday's series finale against the Marlins.
"I told him, 'I want to see an 11-pitch at-bat and then a homer, and it'll be 1-0,'" Callaway said. "And he goes, 'What about a first-pitch homer and make it 1-0?' I said, 'Well it better be a homer.'"
McNeil's leadoff homer off Sandy Alcantara's first-pitch fastball helped lead the Mets to a 6-2 win on Sunday in Miami.
When McNeil returned to the dugout afterward, Callaway had some words for him.
"I told him, 'You better be glad that was a homer,'" Callaway said with a laugh.
McNeil said he makes the same running joke with his teammates every time Callaway puts him atop the lineup.
"I joke around with these guys all the time," McNeil said, "whenever I lead off, it's 1-0. It's never happened -- happened maybe one time, but just had some fun with the guys, and today worked."
It has happened just once before this season -- and coincidentally enough, it was on his previous home run, when he hit Domingo German's first pitch to right-center field in a July 3 loss to the Yankees.
The 27-year-old McNeil is 4-for-12 since making his All-Star Game debut, still in control of the MLB lead in batting average.