Though he vowed not to pick up his clubs this season, Yoenis Cespedes may resort to golf to break his early-season slump.
The Mets' left fielder, who was hitting .208 with 30 strikeouts entering Friday's contest against the Braves, had an RBI single in the top of the 12th to break a 3-3 tie.
Cespedes RBI and a METS WIN in Atlanta! pic.twitter.com/6Oaq25xqrd- SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) April 21, 2018
However, he stepped into the box wearing the infamous "Golden Sombrero" after striking out four times in row before his last at-bat. Cespedes was desperate for a hit, and luckily for the Mets, it came at the right time.
"I struck out four times in a row before that," Cespedes said through an interpreter after the game. "So I just wanted to hit the ball."
He added: "Like I've said before, every at-bat for me is a new at-bat. Just try to focus myself and try to forget about what happened before and just hit the ball. And that's what I did."
But Cespedes admits he's "lost" at the plate, and needs to do something to break out of his slump. He has been watching film to find what he is doing wrong, but it isn't working.
So, maybe teeing it up again will do the trick.
"One of the things I did before when I was in a slump was playing golf, I tried to get out of my slump," Cespedes said. "I said this season, I wouldn't go to play golf. So one of the things I am doing right now, that I didn't do before is watching the videos. That is something I am doing different right now, but unfortunately things aren't going so well."
Golf has been Cespedes' elixir to breaking slumps in the past, but it got him in trouble with the Mets and the fans. In 2016, he posted a photo of himself golfing while he had a leg injury that eventually landed him on the DL. The post received major backlash, and even more when the Mets announced his DL stint.
GM Sandy Alderson saw the reaction to the news as "an unfortunate juxtaposition."
"Last year there was an unfortunate juxtaposition between the golf and the leg injury that didn't sit well with some fans, and wasn't looked on favorably by the media," Alderson said in an interview with The Post's Steve Serby. "I don't think there was any real connection between the two."
Manager Mickey Callaway thinks that Cespedes' current approach to his problems will work out for him in the long run because of his dedication to his craft.
"I think he just goes out there and takes the same approach everytime," he said. "I don't think he worries about what's happened. You see Ces coming in everyday and whether things are going good or bad he's the same guy. He just comes here to play baseball. You can tell he loves it and that approach usually ends up working out in the long run."
Despite his early struggles, Cespedes has come up big with runners in scoring position this season. His game-winning hit Friday night gave him his 18th RBI on the season, which is the most for any Met so far.
Cespedes, though, may go back to crushing it on the golf course, so he can do the same on the diamond.