"It's Juan Lagares Day at Citi Field!"
Gary Cohen's words from the SNY booth captured the feeling Mets fans everywhere, as Lagares helped lead the Mets to an 11-1 win over the D-backs, completing a huge four-game sweep with major Wild Card implications.
Lagares, who has struggled at the plate in his limited playing time this season, broke out in a huge way. He went 2-for-4 at the plate, with both hits being home runs. His grand slam in the bottom of the third inning, the first grand slam he can ever remember hitting in his life, broke the game open early, giving the Mets a 6-0 lead.
His next at-bat came in the fifth, when he launched his second home run of the afternoon, a two-run shot that made it a 9-0 Mets lead.
"I just want to keep working. Every time I have the opportunity to be out there, I try to do my best," Lagares said afterwards.
"Everybody congratulated me, and that's a special moment for me in my career."
Lagares entered Thursday's game with just 263 plate appearances this season, as his playing time has diminished due to a crowded Mets outfield situation. His defense has remained consistent, flashing plays reminiscent of his 2014 Gold Glove season, but his .210 batting average (entering Thursday) was the lowest of his seven-year career.
But given the opportunity on Thursday, Lagares delivered, much to the delight of his manager.
"Another guy that the selflessness paid off," said manager Mickey Callaway. "He didn't complain, he didn't get down, he didn't let it affect his work, he just kept on working. … He's done it a couple times where he starts playing and all of a sudden he gets hot. That's personality trait that Juan has. He comes in here to win.
"I'm really proud of him. You have to feel good for guys who take that approach and then have success like that."
The Mets once again find themselves within 2.0 games of an NL Wild Card spot, and Lagares' big day at the plate should give them some momentum heading forward.