Harrison Bader delivers clutch hit, robs home run in Mets win

Yankees fans remember defensively talented outfielder Harrison Bader’s red-hot October 2022 performance when he struggled at the plate and smashed five home runs in nine postseason games.

Bader has proven to be a go-to guy for Mets fans looking ahead several months into the baseball calendar.

Mets outfielder Harrison Bader hit a double in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Giants at Citi Field. Robert Sabo

The Mets’ first-year center fielder hit a game-tying, two-RBI double in the ninth inning to lead the team to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Giants on Sunday at Citi Field.

Bader is playing mediocre this season with just two home runs and a .690 OPS, but his hits seem to be coming when the team needs them most.

With one out and the bases loaded, he hit a double over the glove of third baseman Matt Chapman to record his 15th and 16th RBIs of the season, seven of which came after the eighth inning.

After seven innings this season, he has a batting average of .364 (16 hits in 44 at-bats).

His 14th RBI of the season came in the top of the second inning, when he singled to right field with two outs, sending DJ Stewart home.

With two outs and runners in scoring position, Bader is batting .389 (7-for-18).

“He wants to be in those situations,” coach Carlos Mendoza said after Bader’s performance ended a five-game losing streak. “He just keeps working hard. It doesn’t matter how important the situation or the moment is. He wants to be there.”

Vader may take issue with the terminology, but he has proven himself competent.

“I don’t know if ‘make it or break it’ is necessarily the right word, but I believe in opportunity,” said Bader, who has had more opportunities in recent times after ceding playing time to Tyrone Taylor earlier this season. “In those situations, you’ve got to think smaller than usual, get your mind in a different gear and just give it your all.”

Mets outfielder Harrison Bader (44) hit a home run off San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Chapman (26) in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday. Robert Sabo, NY Post

Bader scored three runs, but actually made it four, as he stole one from the Giants with his glove.

The Mets were down 2-1 after six innings, but the stadium in Queens was silent, as if accepting that Mendoza’s team would find a way to lose again.

Mets outfielder Harrison Bader (44) hit a double in the ninth inning on Sunday. Robert Sabo, NY Post

Adrian Hauser took the mound to replace Sean Manaea, who was unpopular with the local fans, and the first pitch he threw confirmed the fans’ fears.

Chapman hit a hard ball deep into right-center field that definitely went over the fence.

But Bader was in good position, closed the distance to the wall and jumped to bring the ball back.

“I got on base fast enough to make a play,” said Bader, who was more cautious than the pitcher who got the save.

“That was huge,” said Hauser, who remained composed and allowed just one run in four innings. “That was a big play, especially the first pitch of the inning, the first pitch of the game.”

“It’s a big shift. It’s a confidence boost.”

Bader’s point totals this season haven’t been overwhelming, but his timing continues to change games.