Mets cruise again behind another depth starter, Pete Alonso ignites the offense in 7-0 win
The Mets earned their second shutout win of the season as Pete Alonso paced the offense with his league-high tenth home run of the season
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets shutout the Giants 7-0 on Friday night in San Francisco (Box)
Pete Alonso homered again and drove in four runs - he now has a league leading ten home runs and 23 RBI on the season and his ten home runs are a new club mark for homers in March and April
LHP Joey Lucchesi - who was making his first big league start since going down with Tommy John Surgery in 2021 - fired seven shutout innings for the Mets
Brooks Raley and Tommy Hunter gave the Mets two scoreless innings of relief to close their third straight win out
Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Daniel Vogelbach and Luis Guillorme each notched two hits apiece
The Mets are 7-1 on their current west coast road trip, improved to 13-1 when scoring four or more runs, 6-2 against the NL West, 10-2 when scoring first, and are 10-0 when outhitting the opponent
Roster Moves 🗞️
LHP Joey Lucchesi recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
RHP John Curtiss optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Carlos Carrasco (bone spur in elbow) received a cortisone injection this week and will test his arm in three to five days
OF Starling Marte (neck soreness) hopes to return to the starting lineup on Saturday
Who’s Hot 🔥
Brandon Nimmo is 18-for-35 on this West Coast road trip with a home run, four doubles, six RBI and seven runs scored in eight games on this road trip
Jeff McNeil is 10-for-29 with two doubles, a homer and three RBI in eight games on this road trip
Pete Alonso crushed his tenth home run in the Mets first 21 games and is on a pace to hit 77 long balls
Brooks Raley has been unscored upon in his last eight appearances and in 10 of his 11 appearances overall
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets at Giants
Where: Oracle Park - San Francisco, CA
Starters: LHP David Peterson (1-2, 6.10 ERA) vs. RHP Logan Webb (0-4, 4.94 ERA)
When: 4:05 PM EDT
Where to Watch: FOX
Notes: Joey Lucchesi seized his moment, is the squirrel out of hibernation, and did you know Pete Alonso was awesome? ✍🏻
Another day, another Mets starting pitcher it would seem.
It’s April 22, and all but Kodai Senga has been lost to injury and/or suspension in the Mets rotation. Yet, the Mets continue to truck along, using their depth arms to give them moments in an effort to buy some time towards an eventual return (I suppose that isn’t so certain for at least two of the Mets starting pitchers, is it?)
Is it sustainable? Losing four of a team’s five starting pitchers is never that. Nor can the Mets expect this formula to to be the one that gets them to October either.
And if you really believe it will, well, I don’t know what to tell you. After all, if you’ve watched the Mets long enough, you’ve seen this movie before - losses of core players, specifically those in the starting rotation, eventually causes the pendulum to swing back in the other direction, and rather harshly at that.
But for now, the schedule is generally soft enough for the Mets to withstand these hits. And the good news is, or it would seem anyway, is that Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander could return to the Mets at around the same time, thus restoring some order and calm to what has really become almost a day-to-day “who’s up next?” problem for Billy Eppler and Buck Showalter.
What’s more, Scherzer isn’t hurt. And if you’re like me and you’re looking for any bright side to Scherzer’s suspension, it’s that he’s saving mileage on his system for later.
That’s not to say the Mets don’t need him. Of course they need him. But the team is playing well, they’ve had an awesome road trip out west so far, so a little hiatus could serve him well, specifically in his endeavor to negotiate these new rules, something he has openly admitted he needs to improve upon.
Onto last night game, in sections…
As I said before, another day, another new starting pitcher. On Friday, it was Joey Lucchesi. It had been over 22 months since the quirky left-hander had thrown a big league pitch thanks to a tear in his UCL he sustained, which required Tommy John Surgery and that seemingly endless recovery that goes along with it.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from him on Friday. But I certainly didn’t expect seven rather dominant innings from him, that is for sure.
I also expected him to use his curveball more, better known as, “the churve.” Having said that, I have often wondered if it was that pitch - a pitch he more or less invented, by the way - that led to his elbow injury.
Instead, it was a little more conventional for Lucchesi on Friday as he leveraged his sinker most of the time and fell back to his curve or churve or whatever that pitch ultimately is on StatCast. He allowed just one extra-base hit, fanned nine and had complete command and control of the game. It was the best I can remember him being, although as I said it’s been a long time and I am always the first to admit my memory can be a little cloudy.
No matter, I really liked what he did out there last night. He’s going to get another go of it next week at Citi Field and if he performs like this again, he’s going to give the Mets a difficult problem to solve when Verlander and Scherzer are activated.
MVPete, so far…
I see you Aaron Judge and raise you, Pete Alonso.
(Ok, I won’t get that far ahead of myself. Yet, anyway)
This dude is on another planet right now, isn’t he? He is as locked in as he’s ever been, absolutely demolishing the ball and carrying the offense on his shoulders day-after-day.
The league-leading ten home runs and league-leading 23 RBI don’t even tell the story in my mind. It’s the moments Alonso is creating with his production, the time in the game he’s doing the most damage which truly defines his performance so far in 2023.
His home run last night is yet another example of that. The score was 2-0 and the Mets had just scratched across a run thanks to a silly mistake from Giants catcher Joey Bart in the fifth inning with two outs. That not only prolonged an inning and allowed a run to score, but it prolonged the inning for Alonso who seemingly says in every at-bat, “hold my beer, I got this.”
He absolutely obliterated a ball out to center, giving the Mets a 4-0 lead and from then on, a relaxing environment to play in.
Look - I never like to put too much stock in Spring Training. But when I was watching him hit in camp, I thought he was poised to take it to the next level. Maybe it was the prep for the WBC, maybe it’s just Alonso growing into another form of the unicorn he already had become. I don’t know.
What I do know is he is an MVP-caliber player right now. His discipline is improved, he knows when to power up and be a little more blue-collar up there now, he doesn’t chase those bad sliders out of the zone nearly as much as he did before, either. It has really been fun to watch Alonso grow and evolve into the player he has become.
I see you, squirrel!
Jeff McNeil has quietly (I guess?) had an excellent road trip out west.
And it didn’t really start off very well too.
McNeil was really searching for it over the season’s first 16 games, and he had logged just a single and a walk in last weekend’s series in Oakland.
But all it took was a ride to Hollywood to get the squirrel out of hibernation.
Coming into that series with the Dodgers, McNeil was hitting just .218/.368/.291 over the first two-plus weeks of the season. But he has busted loose with three multi-hit games in his last five to raise his season marks to .288/.422/.411, seemingly finding a groove and finding those holes on the field in the process.
He’s also played outstanding defense, wherever he’s been asked to play out there.
Around the League 🚩
Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 batters over seven innings in a 2-0 shutout of the Royals in Anaheim
The Rays improved to 11-0 at Tropicana Field in an 8-7 walk-off win over the White Sox
Drew Smyly lost a bid for a perfect game in the eighth on an awkward attempt to field a swinging bunt (video)
Josh Donaldson will remain on the injured list for what has been described as a Grade 1-plus hamstring strain - meanwhile, the Blue Jays shutdown the Yankees 6-1 in the Bronx on Friday
The Pirates improved to 14-7 with a 4-2 win over the Reds at PNC Park