Harrison Bader celebrates after a two-run double in the eighth...

Harrison Bader celebrates after a two-run double in the eighth inning against the Pirates at Citi Field on Monday. Credit: Ed Murray

In a moment of immense frustration a little over a week ago, Harrison Bader barked at the baseball gods as much as at himself, furious with the results in this results-driven game. He had done all he was supposed to do but was hitless that afternoon in Cincinnati: lineout, lineout, very deep flyout, hard groundout. And so he yelled into the ether.

Then he continued with what he was supposed to do by changing nothing. He stuck with it. With swings like that — squaring up the round ball with the round bat — the results that are supposed to come indeed have, yielding occasions like Monday night.

Bader lifted the Mets to a 6-3 win over the Pirates with a go-ahead two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning, the second game in a row he had the go-ahead hit in the penultimate frame. He then stole third and scored, barely, on Brandon Nimmo’s ground ball to second for an insurance run.

That scorched double to leftfield off Aroldis Chapman was Bader’s first extra-base hit of the season. In his past five games — ever since that Cincy series ended — he is 9-for-20.

His average has risen from .192 to .304 in that stretch, and his OPS is up from .415 to .659.

“It’s really important to really not take whatever has happened, good or bad, from the past into your next opportunity,” Bader said. “I really try to focus on the positives, and there are so many positives that I’m constantly surrounded by . . . When I focus solely on those things, playing my game and doing my work, it comes a lot easier. I’m always having fun.”

Manager Carlos Mendoza said: “I’m seeing a confident player at the plate . . . I guarantee that if you stick to your routine, your preparation, your process, having an idea at the plate about what the pitcher is trying to do to you — every pitch, every at-bat — you’re going to be in a good spot. And that’s what we’re seeing.”


Bader noted that his familiarity with Chapman, briefly his Yankees teammate in 2022, “absolutely” helped him.

“I knew from centerfield he has really good stuff,” he said. “So that’s all you need to know to formulate your approach.”

Edwin Diaz tossed a hitless ninth inning for his 100th save with the Mets. The others in that club: John Franco, Armando Benitez, Jeurys Familia, Jesse Orosco and Billy Wagner.

The Mets, who trailed 3-0, completed their sprint back to .500. Despite opening the season 0-5, their record is an even 8-8.

“It’s important to continue to play well,” Mendoza said. “I like where we’re at as a team.”

Mets righthander Adrian Houser (5  1⁄3 innings, two runs) and Pirates lefthander Martin Perez (5  2⁄3 innings, three runs) followed similar low-velocity paths to similar outings. Both carried shutouts into the sixth before stumbling and failing to finish the frame.

For Houser, a big problem was his five walks, including of Ke’Bryan Hayes to lead off the top of the sixth, sparking a three-run Pittsburgh rally.

Against Perez, the Mets had several instances of hard contact — including Bader’s lineout to deep center in the third — but little to show for it until the bottom of the sixth.

Facing a sudden three-run hole, they immediately rallied for three runs, scoring on a bases-loaded walk, an errant and unnecessary throw by rightfielder Connor Joe and pinch hitter DJ Stewart’s tying double.

Stewart had been on the bench because the Mets faced a lefthander. Mendoza plugged him in — in that relatively early spot — against righty reliever Hunter Stratton. Stewart yanked the first pitch into right.

“It was good to see him ready to go from pitch one,” Mendoza said. “That was the game for me right there. We had an opportunity with two guys on against a righty. I felt like that was the right time.”

Notes & quotes: The Mets and Pirates all wore No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s 101-year-old widow, participated in a pregame on-field ceremony . . . MLB selected Pete Alonso as the NL Player of the Week. He hit .429 with a 1.603 OPS and four homers in six games last week . . . Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain) said he plans to start throwing off a mound by the end of the week. He is penciled in to make three rehab starts, so he still is weeks away from returning . . . Kodai Senga, seeking to contribute while sidelined by a shoulder injury, invited everybody to a team dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan on Sunday. How was it? “Awesome,” he said in English.


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