Alonso's power, Scherzer's arm help New York to a key early season win
Pete Alonso puts on a Power Show, Max Scherzer wiggles out of trouble, and the Mets bullpen holds on to take the rubber game in Philadelphia
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets beat the Phillies 9-6 to win the rubber game of the first series with their division rivals (box)
Max Scherzer was laborious at times but made it through five innings and allowed only one run for his second win of the season
Sean Reid-Foley and Joely Rodriguez struggled in middle relief, combining to allow four runs in the sixth inning
Pete Alonso homered, doubled twice and drove in five runs on Wednesday
Brandon Nimmo homered for a 2nd straight day and drew two walks
Seth Lugo rebounded with a perfect 8th inning with two strikeouts
Eduardo Escobar reached base four times and made a key defensive play to help thwart a Phillies rally in the seventh inning
Pete Alonso has 10 RBI in his last five games - nine of which have come in two games as a designated hitter
Brandon Nimmo homered for the 2nd straight game on Wednesday - he has three multiple-hit games in his first six games, reaching base 12 times while posting a .429 OBP
Adam Ottavino is un-scored upon in his first three relief outings of the season
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: The Mets are off today ahead of their home opener against the Diamondbacks on Friday afternoon
Note: The Mets will unveil the statue of Tom Seaver at 10:30 AM at Citi Field on Friday. In addition, all players and field personnel will wear no. 42 for Jackie Robinson Day during the game.
Pete Alonso’s power remains the Mets’ offense’s biggest difference maker📝
The Mets went out of their way this past winter to construct a more balanced offensive attack—one that wouldn’t put an inordinate amount of pressure on one or two guys to carry the lineup.
In large measure, that mission has proven to have been successful for the most part over the first seven games of the season. The additions of Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar helped New York score 34 runs during their season opening seven-game road trip, just shy of a five runs per game.
But make no mistake. Regardless of the new faces and skill sets, the man most capable of taking this offense to new heights remains Pete Alonso.
Alonso’s power exploits early in his career have been well documented. His 53 home runs as a rookie in 2019 were a Major League record. He’s won two home run derbies. He’s the guy in the middle of the Mets lineup most capable of turning an entire game with just one swing.
Alonso has become must-see TV.
Wednesday afternoon was a perfect example of just what Alonso means to the Mets offense and team in general.
With a 1-0 lead in the 4th, Alonso stepped to the plate with Marte on first base and nobody out. He promptly ripped a double down the left field line to plate the speedy Marte and extend the lead to 2-0. The Phillies scored in the bottom of that inning to cut the deficit to 3-1, and were desperately in need of a shutdown inning in the fifth to keep momentum on their side.
But Alonso had other ideas.
With two outs and Francisco Lindor on second, Alonso drove him in with his 2nd double in as many innings.
Yet his biggest blow was still to come.
With the Mets now up 5-1 and two men still on in the sixth inning, Alonso (seemingly at the time) put the game out of reach with a three-run home run to right field to give the Mets an 8-1 lead.
It was Alonso’s second home run of the season, both of which have come as a designated hitter.
“I mean, they’re sick too,” Alonso said of his three-run home run. “All homers are sick.”
Just like with his grand slam in Washington last Saturday, this was the second time on the road trip Alonso essentially single-handedly clinched a New York victory with one mighty swing.
“I don’t want to hear anything about him DH’ing anymore,” Showalter jokingly said after the game. “He probably doesn’t want to either.”
Alonso would much rather be playing on both sides of the ball, but knows Showalter is trying to involve the entire roster on a daily basis.
“I’d rather be out there, but I know that Buck is the one that writes the lineup, and I know that he’s trying to win every single day,” Alonso said. “For me, I’d love to play first base every day, but again, [Dominic Smith is] a great first baseman as well.”
No matter what his role, more and more Alonso is proving to be the horse that can carry the offense on his back. He does so with a calm concentration to his game which allows him to live in each moment. Of course, he goes through his own ebbs and flows, but he’s unquestionably the star that stirs the drink for the Mets.
Around the League 🚩
Clayton Kershaw was perfect through seven innings in his season debut in Minnesota but was pulled after the seventh inning having thrown 80 pitches with 13 strikeouts. (Passan)
The Nationals beat the Braves 3-1 behind five scoreless innings from Josiah Gray to take the series from Atlanta (Nationals)
Braves reliever Luke Jackson had Tommy John Surgery (O’Brien)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blasted three homers against the Yankees on Wednesday