Plawecki takes Sabathia deep for first big league blast
No. 2 prospect delivers in fourth game for Mets in place of injured d'Arnaud
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- Kevin Plawecki isn't sure if the baseball sitting on his locker's top shelf is actually the first one he ever hit over the fence in a Major League game. He isn't sure it's not just a baseball fished out of the batting practice bucket by a lazy clubhouse attendant.
"It's a dream come true," Plawecki said of his 2-for-4, three-RBI afternoon, during which he collected his first Major League home run and RBI. "Hopefully there are plenty of more days like this."
Know primarily as a contact hitter, Plawecki needed just four games to notch his first homer. With a runner on first and the Mets leading, 3-1, it came in the form of a screamer. Plawecki took an 88-mph fastball on the outer half and hooked it for a line-drive shot that punctuated a four-run inning.
"To be honest, when I first hit it, I didn't know if it was going out or not," Plawecki said. "I knew I hit the ball well. It had that stretch on it."
Plawecki was at Triple-A Las Vegas less than a week ago, blocked by an incumbent catcher leading the team in RBIs and playing in front of paltry crowds. As one Mets player described the atmosphere: "We're not the biggest draw in town."
That's certainly not the case here and now, even as New York sports two playoff hockey teams and a hoops team still playing postseason basketball. Plawecki's homer came in front of 47,909 at Yankee Stadium, many of them invading Met fans feverish over the team's fiery start.
The Mets' No. 2 prospect introduced himself to the Citi Field faithful by collecting two hits in his Major League debut earlier this week. Saturday, the other side of town got to know him. His RBI single in the eighth made Plawecki 4-for-14 since his promotion April 21. He's also caught a series of excellent starts, including Saturday's from Matt Harvey, who called Plawecki "tremendous."
"I'm happy the way it's started out," Plawecki said. "The nerves are gone. Last night, I had maybe a little bit of the last of them."
Plawecki admitted they were there at first. But his transition in place of the injured Travis d'Arnaud has been smooth. The two have been together constantly in the locker room since d'Arnaud took Plawecki out to dinner upon his callup. That expedited the rookie's adjustment period.
Accomplishing another first should lessen the pressure and lead to more.
"He's gotten all his firsts out of the way quick," said Eric Campbell, who played with Plawecki in Las Vegas and also homered Saturday. "That can ease your mind."
Plawecki singled in his second Major League at-bat and collected two hits in his debut. He hit just 26 home runs in 296 Minor League games, which is one in every 11 or so games.
Up here, he has one homer in only four contests. It may be on the top shelf of his locker.
"I'm going to treat it like it is," Plawecki said. "It's special, definitely."
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.