Pete Alonso's hot bat stole the show, but little things won for the Mets on Friday night
Pete Alonso drove in four more runs to pace him for 155 RBI in 2022
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets defeated the Phillies 8-6 on Friday night at Citi Field (Box)
Pete Alonso homered and drove in four more runs - he now has 45 RBI on the season which leads the majors
Alonso’s 45 RBI are the most RBI by any Met in franchise history before Memorial Day (Bernard Gilkey had 44 RBI before Memorial Day in 1996)
Francisco Lindor had an RBI single in the fourth inning - he now has 11 RBI in his last five games, including at least one RBI in each of those five games - that is tied for the longest streak in his career
Carlos Carrasco pitched well although he allowed five runs over 5.2 IP thanks to a lot of tough luck in the sixth inning.
The Mets are now 7-3 against Philadelphia this season. They are 12-3 in series openers, 27-0 when leading after 8, 15-2 following a loss, 14-7 against the National League East, and 15-10 in May
Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in shoulder) threw again at Citi Field before the game - he is currently pain-free as he continues to ramp up his throwing
Roster Moves 📰
OF Travis Jankowski placed on the 10-day IL with a fractured finger - he underwent surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks
LHP Thomas Szapucki optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on May 25
RHP Yoan López recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
RHP Steve Nogosek recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
Who’s Hot 🔥
Pete Alonso is hitting .389/.415/.778 with four home runs and 16 RBI over his last nine games
Francisco Lindor is hitting .321/.355/.679 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and 12 RBI over his last seven games
Starling Marte is hitting .333/.333/.524 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI with nine runs scored over his last nine games
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (30-17) vs Phillies (21-25)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Taijuan Walker (2-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. LHP Zach Eflin (1-3, 3.65 ERA)
When: 7:15 PM EDT
Where to Watch: FOX
Pete Alonso stole the show, but little things won for the Mets on Friday 📝
Well, that was a doozy, wasn’t it?
The Mets were in need of a comfortable, breezy win following a disappointing three-game series against the Giants during which they had allowed 24 runs and had lost two games in a row for just the second time this season.
And for a while, it looked like the Mets were going to get a win while on cruise control. They had built a seven run lead against the Phillies over five innings with Philadelphia’s poor defense and Pete Alonso’s scorching hot bat dead smack in the middle of the contest.
Their first two runs came as a result of sacrifice flies in the first inning on two shallow fly balls to right field - one from Alonso and another by Eduardo Escobar. Knowing Nick Castellanos is challenged defensively, both Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor challenged Castellanos to make a good throw to the plate, and both won the battle as Castellanos failed to make such throws and the Mets found themselves up 2-0.
Looking back on this game, those two aggressive baserunning plays ended up making a world of difference. A year ago, perhaps the Mets wouldn’t have challenged Castellanos in those situations even with the speed of both Nimmo and Lindor at third base. But 2022 is a different song for the Mets, one of aggression and calculated risk taking and for the most part, both are paying off for them and in this case, mattering in the outcome of a game.
Then Alonso’s MVP caliber bat made a loud bang in the third inning when he hit a long two-run home run to make it 5-0, and then he made it 7-0 with a ringing double to right field in the fourth inning.
There was that easy peasy night the Mets were looking for, right?
Carlos Carrasco was efficiently cruising, the Phillies were up to their usual tricks of bumbling the ball around and pitching poorly, and the Mets appeared to be off to the races on their six-game homestand.
But these are the Mets and for whatever reason, things just cannot be easy for them.
The sixth inning came around with Carrasco on auto-pilot, but Rhys Hoskins led off with a bleeder single to the left of the mound, and for whatever reason, Carrasco decided to throw the ball to first base with a seven run lead. He threw it into right field and Hoskins was on second base. Then, Alec Bohm hit one about 80 feet for an infield single, then Bryce Harper took one off the trademark and blooped a single into right field to plate a run.
Nick Castellanos followed that with what looked like a routine double play ball to second base, except nobody was there because of the shift.
That was another run.
Then Carrasco struck out Met Killer Kyle Schwarber, which at the time seemed like the least likeliest of outcomes given how much he has tortured the Mets over the last 365 days or so.
Carrasco then induced a groundout to Escobar at third but that plated Harper to make it 7-3. There were two outs though, the Mets were still up by four and still had some room to breathe.
Or, so we all thought.
Carrasco then walked Odúbel Herrera, and that’s when Carrasco’s night came to an end. Buck Showalter summoned Chasen Shreve to face the light-hitting lefty Garrett Stubbs in an effort to get out of it in a lefty/lefty matchup, that which Shreve did not do.
Instead, Shreve allowed a three-run home run to Stubbs. Like, what?
Suddenly, the deficit was a measly run and what seemed like a cake walk for the Mets was now a walk on some very thin ice.
Carrasco certainly deserved a lot better than the pitching line would indicate. None of the balls in play against him in that sixth inning were hit very hard or very far and it’s fair to argue that with a different defensive alignment, he could’ve gotten out of that inning with minimal damage and been afforded an opportunity to pitch into the seventh. That’s just a moment Carrasco needs to close his eyes on and move on from - he didn’t really do anything wrong to deserve that fate. Hat tip to the Phillies for finding a way.
None the less, their 7-0 lead was down to 7-6 and it seemed like one of nights where everyone was waiting for that last shoe to drop.
But, the Mets were merely shaken, and not stirred despite the lead shrinking due to a myriad of bleeders, Texas leaguers and an unlikely big swing from a backup catcher. The Mets immediately responded with an insurance run and the bullpen did the rest to cool off Philadelphia’s bats and escape with a necessary win.
And that type of response has come time and time again this season and is one of the key differences between a Buck Showalter-led club and a club led by pretty much anyone else over the last five years.
The obvious hero of last night’s game was Alonso, who drove in another four runs and is on an insane pace to hit 41 home runs and 155 RBI. And yes, Alonso’s performance deserves the headline and certainly, without his bat the storylines would be vastly different today.
But in the middle of Alonso’s heroics were a lot of other heroes. Again, their first inning base running which helped manufacture two of their first three runs in the inning were a difference, as was Mark Canha’s two out RBI in that same frame. Perhaps Alonso’s performance would merely be a footnote today without their quality situational hitting and aggressive base running in the first, among other things.
The point is, even when one player grabs a headline, there are others always doing the little things to win on this club. Those moments may not come with the same glitz and fanfare say, a two-run home run does from an MVP-caliber player, but they matter equally in the team’s ability to win.
And ultimately, those moments matter the most in a team’s quest to win a game, win a division, win a playoff series, and win a World Championship.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Joe Suozzi (OF, Single-A): 3-for-5, HR, 5 RBI, 4 runs scored
Mark Vientos (3B, No. 4 Prospect, Triple-A) 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect Double-A) 1-for-5, RBI, run scored
Around the League 🚩
The Orioles plated 10 runs in innings 7-9 to come from behind on the Red Sox and win 12-8 at Fenway Park
MLB is investigating an incident involving Reds OF Tommy Pham and Giants OF Joc Pederson after Pham allegedly slapped Pederson before their game in Cincinnati on Friday
Giants Manager Gabe Kapler has chosen not to stand for the national anthem to express his frustration over the way he feels the direction the country is headed in
Jameson Taillon fired eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball in the Yankees 2-0 over the Rays in St. Petersburg
Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a two-run home run in Milwaukee on Friday night