During the 2020/2021 offseason, the Mets made an unprecedented move: they signed two players whose last name ends with -illar, Jonathan Villar and Kevin Pillar. While the names are pronounced differently (Vi-yar versus Pill-ar), the two bench pieces for the Mets have contributed a fair amount to their early success already.
Inspired by our own Maggie Wiggin on Twitter, we will declare an “-illar of the Day,” celebrating which player had a more productive (or less destructive) day for the Mets.
Kevin Pillar was on the Injured List for a spell after being hit in the face with a baseball, temporarily shuttering the -illar of the Day proceedings. However, he returned to the Mets on Memorial Day, and so we were able to get the band back together for the Mets’ trip to Arizona.
But then, on Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Villar felt hamstring tightness and so, at least for now, we have a very limited return to the festivities. Let’s hope that Villar is not out long, and that we can return to this real soon.
Game 46, Mets at Diamondbacks
Starting the game on the bench, Kevin Pillar made his triumphant return to baseball when double-switched into the game after Jacob deGrom made his exit. Even if he didn’t hit a sharp ground ball past the left-side of the infield for a hit, this would’ve been Kevin’s night for the sheer tenacity of his return 11 games after a traumatic injury.
-illar of the Day: Kevin Pillar
Game 47, Mets at Diamondbacks
This game had a depressing ending, but was a hard-fought contest that saw Jonathan Villar score one of the five Mets runs before the team lost in extras. With all due respect to our Lukas Vlahos who recapped the game and called this a tie, this is a clear win for JV.
-illar of the Day: Jonathan Villar
Game 48, Mets at Diamondbacks
A back and forth effort that saw each team beat the tar out of their opponent’s starting pitcher, this game looked to be a battle of the -illars for the title. Villar collected two hits and scored two runs before leaving the game with hamstring tightness, which would’ve normally given him the easy victory. However, this was Pillar’s first start since getting hit in the face, and he collected two hits and scored a run in his inspirational return. This is a tie, and hopefully not the last -illar of the Day for long.
-illar of the Day: Both!