Daniel Vogelbach’s previous 412 major league appearances had occurred in uniforms for the Mariners, Blue Jays, Brewers and Pirates.
His debut for the Mets, in front of an engaged crowd in the heat of a pennant race Sunday night, was something different.
“That was awesome,” Vogelbach said after the Mets’ 8-5 victory over the Padres in front of 39,395 at Citi Field. “I don’t know that I have played in an environment like that, at least with the home team. Pretty cool to call it my home field now.”
Vogelbach, acquired on Friday from the Pirates, started at DH and finished 1-for-3 with a walk. His single leading off the fifth was the Mets’ first hit of the game against Joe Musgrove.
Though Vogelbach was 0-for-7 lifetime against Musgrove, manager Buck Showalter was anxious to deploy his new lefty bat. Showalter noted that Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery is pitching against the Mets on Tuesday, and it was important to get Vogelbach involved before he got stale waiting for a chance.
“I think people kind of rallied around his first hit as a Met,” Showalter said. “That was a good feeling in the dugout for a lot of reasons. He had a big walk, which is what he does. It’s good to see him get off to a good start.”
Vogelbach’s walk came in the sixth inning, starting another rally after Pete Alonso’s three-run homer. Luis Guillorme brought in Vogelbach with a bloop single. Guillorme later scored on Tomas Nido’s double, extending the Mets’ lead to 5-1.
“I have played against Vogie since we were kids — we played against each other in the Florida travel ball circuit, in high school,” Alonso said. “I know that he’s got juice, he’s got pop in his bat, but also his plate discipline is excellent. He’s a great player. I know he is going to help us win a lot of games.”