Mike Piazza's arrival via a trade in 1998 helped revive the Mets, leading to comparisons to Yoenis Cespedes and his impact since his arrival in Flushing.
But Piazza, the one-time franchise cornerstone, insisted before the Subway Series that his situation was "a little different in some ways."
"I came here a little earlier than he did," said Piazza, who thrived following a May trade from the Marlins. "So I think my baptism here was a little longer in a way."
Since Cespedes came to the Mets at the July 31 trade deadline, he wasted little time transforming the lineup.
"I love the fact that he came right in and was all business, and really just focused and knew what he was brought here to do," Piazza said. "And that is to ignite the offense and really be a good foundation and anchor in the lineup. And complement the other guys."
The Mets ultimately signed Piazza to a long-term deal, with fans pushing for a similar move for Cespedes. But after declaring he wants his next contract to be a six-year deal, Cespedes declined to discuss his looming free agency Sunday night.
Piazza said he has been following the Mets' turnaround season.
"It seems like a nice balance," said Piazza, who threw the ceremonial first pitch Sunday night. "You have to believe. And it seems like they're starting to believe that they can beat anybody, and that's big, as well."
Juan Uribe left the game in the fourth inning, replaced by Daniel Murphy at second base. Uribe was slow to get up after a diving stop in the third . . . Jacob deGrom's next start still is up in the air, though manager Terry Collins said he merely will be pushed back instead of skipped. Before he was scratched, he had been slated to start Tuesday . . . With Curtis Granderson given the day off, Ruben Tejada started in the leadoff spot because of his .441 on-base percentage in September.
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