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After calling team meeting, Francisco Lindor puts Mets on his back: ‘It’s what great leaders do’

After a tumultuous stretch of play, which culminated with the Mets being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers – a series that ended with a surreal moment of a glove thrown into the stands –  the players called a team meeting to air things out and reset after one-third of the season had gotten off on the wrong foot.

A little over 24 hours after that meeting, Francisco Lindor, the man who called for it, powered the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks going 4-for-4 with two RBI.

“Not only [did] they get together and said a lot of things, they went out there today and showed it,” manager Carlos Mendoza said of the shortstop’s night, including a solo homer to score the Mets' first run.

The first-year skipper added later, “Pretty impressive. And it says a lot [about] who he is and how much he wants it for this team.”

But it doesn’t take a veteran to realize the shortstop’s significance on the night.

“Lindor does what leaders do. They come up when we need them,” rookie starter Christian Scott said. “It’s what great leaders do. That’s why he’s here, that’s why he’s our captain. Comes out here when we need him and comes here every day works really, really hard.

“We need a performance like that out of him and we get it. Four hits for him, it’s huge today, it’s huge for us.”

For Lindor, it was less about what he did, than what the collective did.

“It felt good to contribute to a team win,” he said. “This is not about being the main character… who called the team meeting, that’s not what this is about. Anybody could have a good night tonight and I woulda been happy. It just worked out it was me. Tomorrow is gonna be someone else.

“As long as we start winning and we play with the same intensity and the same focus, same level of paying attention to the details like we did today, that’s what we gotta do.”

But Thursday it was Lindor’s night as he pushed a hitting streak to nine games and the skipper likes what he’s seen from the shortstop who is batting .375 in that span with four doubles and two homers.

“This is a guy that’s never gonna give up,” Mendoza said. “First guy out there on the field, working in the cages, vocal in meetings, obviously [Wednesday] calling that meeting.”

During the recent streak, the manager said he’s liked seeing Lindor be “aggressive in the strike zone, controlling the strike zone, not missing pitches. Sometimes results are not there and he just continues to stay with the processes and continuing to stay with the process which is not easy to do. But that’s why he’s such a special player.”

Ahead of Thursday’s game, Mendoza said he “liked the fact that they got together” for a team meeting after Wednesday’s loss.

“You talk about accountability here. So we talk about our process, you’re always looking for ways to get better, you’re always looking for ways to improve and that starts with your preparation. And that’s what some of our guys are talking about here we just gotta continue to push each other.”

After the game, Lindor echoed the manager saying his performance Thursday was about “focusing on the process and just being better and having the urgency of winning.”

Mendoza was not aware the players were having a team meeting, but “liked it” that it was happening when he entered the clubhouse after holding his postgame media conference.

“Obviously as a manager, I wanted to get the team together, but the fact that guys got together, I liked it. Because it’s important for them to let it all out. And yesterday, I thought, with them calling that meeting, it was needed for all.”

J.D. Martinez, who notched the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning Thursday, called it a “very healthy meeting” for the team.

“Obviously, I think it was one of the better meetings I think I’ve had as far as positivity and us leaving a meeting actually confident that I’ve had in my career,” the 14-year MLB veteran said, adding that the “atmosphere” and “the way everyone interacted” made the meeting a positive one.

Lindor said that through the process of struggles, it is “extremely important” to continue to play with “a lot of energy, playing with a lot of passion and with joy is a good step towards ending on top every night.”

"I feel like vibes are the most important thing on a daily basis,” he said. “You gotta be optimistic, you gotta stay upbeat, you gotta stay in a state of mind where you believe you can do anything."

Overall, Mendoza said the team’s struggles were “not the lack of effort, they’re working hard.”

“But this is a game of adjustments,” the skipper said before Thursday’s game. “These are some of the conversations that we’re having. You know, maybe an adjustment here in your preparation, the way you prepare, something that you haven’t done that you should be working on. Just things like that that the game will dictate. Like I said, It’s a game of adjustments it starts with your preparations.”