The Mets' Francisco Lindor, back to camera, celebrates with Brett...

The Mets' Francisco Lindor, back to camera, celebrates with Brett Baty, who hit a two-run home run against Atlanta during the second inning of a game Wednesday in Atlanta. Credit: AP/Harkim Wright Sr.

ATLANTA — More than an hour after the Mets’ 9-7 win over Atlanta on Wednesday — and several hours after Brett Baty hit a home run on the first swing of his first at-bat in the first game of his major-league career — he remained on the field with family and friends and former coaches doing what everyone had told him all day to do: Soak this in. 

The Truist Park lights were off. The fans and his teammates were long gone. The sounds of leaf blowers and hoses filled an empty stadium. But Baty was in full uniform, having gotten redressed and brushed his hair after a postgame celebration that apparently necessitated a shower. He had to do what he had to do for the photo ops, right? 

“You only make your debut once,” Franciso Lindor told Baty before the game. “So take advantage of it and really just enjoy it.” 

And so he did. Brett Baty, basher of baseballs, the No. 2 prospect in the organization and one of the best in baseball, has arrived. The Mets called him up because Eduardo Escobar went on the injured list with a strained left oblique.

“I’m not putting any expectations on myself,” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and play to the best of my ability. I’m here for a reason, so I’ll let it show and do my best out there.” 

The Mets (76-42) hung on for the victory and upped their NL East lead to 4 1/2 games via Edwin Diaz’s dominant hold in the bottom of the eighth, Pete Alonso’s two-run insurance single in the top of the ninth and Trevor May’s dangerous two-run bottom of the ninth. Robbie Grossman hit a three-run homer off Adam Ottavino in the seventh that suddenly but temporarily got Atlanta (72-47) to within a run. Max Scherzer tossed 6 1/3 innings (four runs) interrupted by a 34-minute rain delay. Starling Marte homered twice, Francisco Lindor once. 

But this was Baty’s night. On a 1-and-0 curveball over the plate from righthander Jake Odorizzi in the second inning, he became the fifth Met to homer in the first plate appearance of his career (and the first since Mike Jacobs in 2005), eking a fly ball over the tall wall in rightfield. He returned to the dugout to a round of aggressive, enthusiastic high-fives and pats on the butt and head, plus hugs from Alonso and Lindor. During the chaos, he spotted his people in the stands — about two dozen people altogether, he said.

“Just pure joy,” Baty said. “To . . . look up and see my family up there, be able to celebrate it with them, pure joy for sure.” 

Manager Buck Showalter said: “You think about not only Brett but all the people that got some joy out of it.” 

And Scherzer: “To go out there and hit a homer, that’s just great. To be producing at the plate gives him a lot of confidence to continue to play and he probably thinks he belongs here now. So that’s a good thing. That’s what we need out of this team.” 

Baty is the first of what the Mets hope in this new era will be a regular supply of impact, homegrown bats — the kinds of rookies they haven’t had since Jeff McNeil (2018) and Alonso (2019). 

“Super excited,” he said, “to get out there and shuffle in.” 

Shuffle in is all the Mets need him to do. They don’t need a savior, just someone to stand at third and hit a little, blend in, be a part of the team. During a quiet moment amid a hectic few hours, after the hitters’ game-planning meeting and before batting practice, Brandon Nimmo pulled Baty aside with a little advice. 

“He was like, ‘Hey man, slow it down. It’s going to be a pretty big atmosphere for sure, but we all trust you out there and we have your back,’” said Baty, the Mets’ first-round draft pick in 2019. “That’s what I wanted to hear.” 

That meant a lot coming from Nimmo, a fellow former first-rounder (who now is the longest-tenured position player on the team). 

“He’s definitely a leader in this clubhouse,” Baty said. “For him to say that to me was really big for me.” 

The Mets didn’t intend to promote Baty as recently as Monday, deeming his overall skill set — but especially his defense — not quite ready for the majors. That changed with Escobar’s injury. 

Showalter said: “Some things you kind of do and it might not be the perfect time frame in somebody’s mind, but sometimes baseball doesn’t always cooperate with it.” 

So now the Mets’ third baseman of the future is their third baseman of the present. 

“This isn’t some utopian level that you have to be perfect to reach, OK?” Showalter said. 

Baty’s start was pretty perfect, though. 

“I feel like I’m just scratching the surface,” Baty said. “I can do a lot more for this ballclub.”