SAN DIEGO — Kevin Pillar can deal with his new mask, but some of the taunts from fans have left him incredulous.
The Mets outfielder has been wearing the protective mask on defense and to run the bases since returning in recent days from the broken nose he sustained when he was hit in the face by a pitch last month.
“I don’t even notice it now except when [fans] make fun of me in the outfield,” Pillar said before the Mets beat the Padres, 4-0, on Saturday night.
Pillar didn’t want to share specific examples of the comments he has heard.
“People are rude and people are mean, people come to the games and feel entitled to say what they want to say. I would say it’s all in good fun,” Pillar said. “But it’s kind of sad at some point. You buy a ticket, you say what you want to say. Nobody has really crossed the line quite yet.”
Pillar said wearing the mask has become second nature.
“It’s what I have got to do, and right now it’s as normal as putting a hat on,” Pillar said. “It’s something I have gotten adjusted to really quickly. I have figured out how to get it on and off really quick. … It’s just a part of me now, and it’s no different than putting the uniform or the hat on for me.”
Jonathan Villar was absent from the starting lineup for a third straight game as the Mets continued to play it cautiously with his right hamstring tightness.
But Villar delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth that extended the Mets’ lead to 3-0 and remained in the game to play third base for the remainder.
Pete Alonso may start at DH for at least one of the two games in Baltimore beginning Tuesday, according to Rojas, allowing James McCann to play first base. After catching three straight games, McCann was on the bench Saturday, putting Tomas Nido behind the plate.
Sam McWilliams, who was designated for assignment by the Mets, was claimed off waivers by the Padres.